Baby scam suspect arrested in Ohio
By Tim Karan
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
A woman who allegedly attempted an adoption scam while living in Kittanning was apprehended last week in Ohio after eluding authorities in two states.
Amy Slanina, 33, was reportedly mired in a similar scam when an investigation revealed her actual identity and previous offenses.
According to the Ashland Times-Gazette, Slanina was taken into custody at a home in Ashland, Ohio, and is being held in the county jail for a probation violation while local officials consider further charges.
Slanina, who had been on the lam for more than two months, has an extensive criminal history of lying about her identity and pretending to be pregnant and abused in an effort to defraud victims of money and services.
She already was wanted in Knox County, Ohio, for a parole violation stemming from a 2010 scam when she used a false name last December to gain shelter at Helping All Victims In Need (HAVIN) in Kittanning.
Claiming to be the battered wife of a Pittsburgh police officer, Slanina used a cell phone and computer at the facility to communicate with Richard and Rebecca Vest — a couple from Idaho who believed Slanina was pregnant and willing to let them adopt her baby.
Authorities at HAVIN became suspicious of Slanina's story, and Kittanning police arrested the woman on Dec. 30 for diversion of services, theft by deception and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Although Slanina had convinced the Vests to travel to Kittanning, District Judge James Owen dismissed two counts of disorderly conduct the following month because there was no proof she had asked the couple for money or put them in danger.
In April, Slanina appeared before Judge James Panchik which was to result in her extradition to Ohio.
However, Armstrong authorities were unable to locate her in September when she was again set to stand trial in Armstrong County for theft of services against HAVIN.
The Associated Press reported that a court summons mailed to the Ohio Reformatory for Women — where Slanina was thought to be incarcerated — was returned to sender with the word “Released” written on it.
Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi could not be reached on Tuesday for comment on the recent arrest, nor on how Slanina was able to disappear from authorities.
She surfaced last month at a shelter in Ashland in the midst of a similar scam. Slanina reportedly had told staff there she was again pregnant and had been abused by a police officer in Columbus.
She was attempting to file a PFA order against the man when authorities soon discovered he doesn't exist and Slanina's story unraveled. She was arrested at a home in Green Township on Nov. 30.
Jo Ellen Bowman, executive director of HAVIN, said she's relieved Slanina is finally behind bars.
“I was advised she was once again engaged in her false pregnancies and adoption scam,” said Bowman.
“It's unconscionable that she continues to inflict emotional pain on victims who believe she is pregnant and that they believe they will have the privilege of adopting her nonexistent child. I'm grateful to law enforcement for working so diligently to hold Amy Slanina accountable.”
Bowman said Slanina will eventually be returned to Armstrong County to face charges.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bullet strikes Armstrong school van
- Vandals strike Kittanning doctor’s memorial in picnic area
- Kittanning Council looks at options for bridge traffic during repairs
- Punxsutawney driver gets jail sentence for fatal crash
- Grove City man charged with passing counterfeit bills
- Ford City steps closer to stopping water plant fines
- Pittsburgh pair have drug charges dropped in Kittanning
- Auditor takes West Franklin to court
- Boggs man avoids ‘too good to be true’ scam
- Parker names city’s Citizen of theYear
- Armstrong County towns consider consolidated police force