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North Carolina mother accused of trading her toddler for a car

Alice Leann Todd allegedly gave up her 1-year-old child in exchange for a 1992 Plymouth Laser.

A North Carolina mother is accused of trading her child for a car.

Alice Leann Todd, 45, was charged with the unlawful sale, surrender, or purchase of a minor after investigators found she gave up her 1-year-old to a couple in exchange for their 1992 Plymouth Laser in 2018, Capt. Brad Saintsing with the Thomasville Police Department said Thursday.

Tina Marie Chavis, 47, and Vicenio Mendoza Romero, 53, who were caring for the child face the same charges.

Tina Chavis, Alice Leann Todd and Vicencio Romero
Tina Chavis, Alice Leann Todd and Vicencio Romero.Thomasville Police Dept.

Police said they opened an investigation when Chavis brought the then-2-year-old child to a hospital in July because she thought the child was suffering from an allergic reaction. Staff at the hospital noticed the toddler had bruises and contacted child protective services and police.

When questioned, Chavis originally claimed to be the child's biological mother, later saying she was the child's adoptive mother, police said. But she couldn't produce any documentation.

Investigators eventually discovered the child had been swapped for the vehicle the year before.

Todd, Chavis and Romero are all being held on $50,000 bonds at the Davidson County Jail, about 60 miles north of Charlotte. They are due in court on Oct. 21.

Saintsing said police are still investigating and more charges could be brought in the case. The child is in the care of a family member.