4 accused in Indianapolis child selling scheme

Phillip Hester

Indianapolis - Bond was set Wednesday for four Indianapolis residents accused in a baby-selling scheme.

Three of the four lived together in a home on Perry Street on the south side. Police suspect Rose P. Faucett, who has a record of prostitution arrests, made a deal with Debbie Overby and her brother-in-law Michael Overby.

Investigators say Michael Overby, a convicted child molester, and Debbie Overby, on probation for child neglect, were paying Rose Faucett $300 for the baby she delivered this month. Phillip Hester may be the child's biological father.

The allegations were first raised by the fiancée of a family member.

"I heard multiple conversations that day of them wanting to purchase the baby, monetary obligations, complaints, you name it," said Michael Carlisle, witness.

Debbie Overby, who appeared in court Wednesday on charges that include forgery and conspiracy to commit child selling, maintains she felt sorry for the birth mother and allowed Faucett to stay in her home. Overby says the charges are false.

"They're not fair. They're false. I didn't try to buy her baby," said Debbie Overby.

When asked what she did for Faucett's infant, Overby said, "I fed her and everything. She wouldn't go to no doctor's appointment. I begged her to go to a doctor's appointment. I took care of her. She didn't have to do nothing. Made sure she had clean clothes."

But Carlisle says cleanliness was hardly the way he'd describe the Overby home.

"A hamster's cage is cleaner," said Carlisle, who believes "they should all go to prison."

Debbie Overby insists her heart was in the right place.

"When the baby was born, I was there for her. I just did whatever anyone with a heart would do for somebody like that," said Overby.

Prosecutors say the person affected most in this case is the week-old baby.

"The child has no one but the parents or guardians to take care of it and that's the interests we were protecting in this case," said Mary Hutchison, prosecutor.

Debbie Overby has a child neglect conviction. In 2009 the state removed a 10-year-old boy from her home because of filthy conditions. Michael Overby has a 1984 conviction for child molestation. Police are still trying to learn why the two might want to take in an infant.

A fourth man is charged as well. Police say Phillip Hester signed a legal paper claiming to be the infant's birth father but police say that is not true.

The next court date is set for May 4th.

Bonds for Rose Faucett, Phillip Hester and Debbie Overby were set at $5,000; Michael Overby's was set at $80,000.

According to court documents, after the investigation involving Faucett, Child Protective Services workers removed two children from the Overby home - a four-year-old whose parents live in Alabama, and an 11-year-old, who is not the Overbys' biological child but who was adopted by Debbie Overby and her then-husband (now deceased) in 2002.