An 81-year-old man was arrested after allegedly offering a mother at a Florida Walmart $200,000 to purchase her 8-year-old daughter.
What at first seemed like casual banter took a nefarious turn: Tracy Nigh was sitting with her child on a bench outside the Port Orange Walmart when she was approached by Hellmuth Kolb, according to Click Orlando, an Orlando, Florida-based news organization. Kolb asked Nigh if she was married.
Nigh recalled that when the dialogue began she did not feel herself or her child to be in danger.
"It seemed like a friendly conversation," Nigh said, according to Click Orlando. "He didn't seem like a threat at first."
Then Kolb asked if she would exchange her kid for money, she said.
"The first amount was $100,000, the second amount was $150,000 and then the final amount was $200,000," Nigh said, explaining that she grew increasingly uncomfortable as the chat continued. "I then said 'No, we have to go.' I think what was going through my mind was, 'What was going to happen here?' and 'I just need to get her away as quickly as possible.'"
As Nigh and her child attempted to flee, Kolb allegedly grabbed the girl and tried to give her a kiss on the wrist. Nigh pulled the child back and escaped, notifying Walmart security on the way out, according to the arrest report. Security camera footage shows Kolb attempting to hold on to the girl, authorities say.
Kolb later told police he did not remember grabbing the child, according to the arrest report.
Kolb now faces charges that include simple battery and false imprisonment. He was booked into the Volusia County Jail on Sept. 29. He has since paid bond and is no longer in jail, according to Newsweek.
A judge has ordered Kolb not to have any contact with Nigh or her child, according to WFTV, an Orlando, Florida-based ABC affiliate.
Police added that a similar complaint had been made about a man who matched Kolb's description in August. They are checking to see if Kolb has had other complaints made against him, according to WFTV.
[Photo: Volusia County Jail]