U.S.

Man, 81, Tried to Buy Woman's 8-year-old Daughter for $200,000 at Florida Walmart, Port Orange Police Say

Hellmuth Kolb
Hellmuth Kolb, 81, was booked into Volusia County Jail on September 29, Port Orange Police Department officials said. Port Orange Police Department

An 81-year-old man who allegedly offered to pay a mother $200,000 for her 8-year-old daughter in a Port Orange, Florida, Walmart store has been arrested, police have said.

Officials confirmed Monday that the suspect, named as Hellmuth Kolb, was booked into Volusia County Jail on September 29 after the mother, Tracy Nigh, reported the incident. The suspect was charged with battery and false imprisonment, Orlando’s WKMG-TV said.

Police said Nigh was approached by Kolb on Friday while sitting on a bench inside Walmart, on Dunlawton Avenue. The suspect initially asked her if she was married, before turning attention to the child. He allegedly asked if she would accept money in exchange for her daughter.

“The first amount was $100,000, the second amount was $150,000 and then the final amount was $200,000," Nigh said. “I then said ‘no, we have to go.’” When the pair then tried to leave, the suspect grabbed the girl’s arm and kissed her wrist, police added.

The mother told Walmart security what had happened before quickly leaving the store.

Kolb was caught on CCTV at the scene, which backed up the mother’s account. The suspect was identified via his credit card transactions and social media, investigators said. At least one other woman had detailed a similar experience with Kolb, the Associated Press reported today.

"We are pressing charges"

In a Facebook update, Nigh elaborated on the incident. “Shook, rocked and shocked to the core,” she wrote. “A man at the Port Orange Walmart offered me 200k for my child today. Grabbed her by the arm and kissed her wrist. My 8-year-old little girl!!!! We are pressing charges.

“Be careful out there women and men with your daughters, wives and the all the women in your life, please! He asked me where my husband is and laughed after I told him he’s at work.”

In the section under the Facebook post, Nigh addressed concerned commenters. “So scary I don’t even know what to say. Still in shock but need to keep my daughters emotional state well right now.” In a second reply, she added: “Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support. I will update as soon as they notify us. I’m sickened right now but I’ll get back to everyone.”

The suspect paid bond and is no longer in jail. 

Kolb’s neighbor, Cliff Sistrunk, said the suspect was married. When reporters approached Kolb at his home, he denied knowing why he was arrested—and slammed his front door.

Walmart Walmart employee Yurdin Velazquez pushes grocery carts at a Walmart store on February 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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