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American facing possible life sentence after being charged with trying to smuggle baby in bag out of Philippines


A tear rolls on the cheek of American national Jennifer Erin Talbot from Ohio before the start of a press conference by the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, Philippines, on Thursday. (Aaron Favila/AP)

An American woman who was charged with human trafficking on Thursday is facing a possible life sentence after she allegedly attempted to smuggle a 6-day-old baby in bag out of the Philippines.

The baby was transferred into custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and is being housed at a center where it will receive appropriate care, the agency said Friday.

Jennifer Erin Talbot, 43, was able to pass through immigration at the Manila Airport, but not able to produce any boarding pass, passport or government permits for the baby boy. She had planned to board a Delta Airlines plane bound for the U.S. but was halted by airline personnel at the boarding gate on Wednesday.

The baby was hidden in a sling bag while she passed through immigration, International Airport Investigation Division chief Manuel Dimaano said at a press conference held by the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, CNN reports.

While initially reported as being from Ohio, public records searches from the Associated Press found Talbot owns a residence outside Salt Lake City and received a traffic violation there in March.

Talbot presented an affidavit stating the baby could travel, allegedly from the baby’s mother — identified as Maricris Dulap — the NBI said. The document was not signed, by the mother, however.

The 43-year-old was arrested and handed over to the National Bureau of Investigation. She was charged Thursday with human trafficking, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the charges.

Officials said she broke other laws, including child abuse, illegal detention and kidnapping.

The baby boy’s parents have been charged under a child protection law, Dimaano said. The mother was also interviewed by social welfare officers, but the parents have not been place under arrest, CNN reports.

At the news conference Thursday, Talbot shook her head when asked by reporters for comment.

With News Wire Services.