Southwest Va. woman says she is sorry after she faked pregnancy, tricked California couple

Picture from Laura Trayte

SCOTT COUNTY, Va—A California couple desperate for a child, found a willing partner in a Nickelsville woman who no longer wanted her baby.

Matt and Laura Trayte, a couple from Southern California, said they were promised they could adopt a newborn girl from Elizabeth Jones, who resides in Scott County, Virginia.

“We’ve spent and put every penny into it,” said Laura. “Emotionally and financially invested completely to complete our family.”

The Trayte family created the website, “A Sibling for Hudson” in hopes of finding another baby.

“We dove headfirst into this process with our hearts,” said Matt Trayte.

In September 2018, Elizabeth Jones, from Nickelsville reached out to the Traytes’. According to Matt and Laura, Jones told them she was 5 months pregnant, and wanted them to have custody of her child.

“Her reason for putting this baby up for adoption was she wanted to focus on her career,” said Laura Trayte.

The Trayte family told News Five that they flew to Nickelsville in November, to finalize adoption plans, and to take professional photos with Elizabeth, announcing the adoption.

“We had professional pictures taken, we toured the hospital Indian Path, and we met with the lawyer,” said Laura Trayte. “It was at that time she signed the power of attorney.”

The Traytes said they spoke with Jones almost everyday for months, and were convinced that Elizabeth Jones would allow them to adopt her baby.

On November 29th, Jones sent Laura Trayte text messages, saying how much pain she was in, and that the baby was coming any minute.

Laura and her husband rushed to the hospital to meet Jones and her new baby girl, but said they found Jones sitting in the hospital lobby fully clothed.

“Another nurse came walking up and said that must be a common name because there is someone named Elizabeth Jones but she’s not pregnant," said Laura. "She’s here for lower back pain.”

Elizabeth Jones admitted in an exclusive interview with News Five that she made the whole thing up, but isn’t sure why.

"Well that’s the million dollar question....I mean I go to therapy, but we’re still trying to figure that out," said Jones. "I mean, I don’t know if I just needed someone to talk to or... I don’t know."

Jones said she is sorry to the Trayte family, but thinks the couple should have known she was fooling them.

"I think there were red flags," said Jones. " I mean if I had red flags I would check them out before I hopped on a plane and met somebody."

Both families are now trying to move on. The Traytes said they hope their story will bring changes in the adoption industry.

"Were trying to turn our tragedy...this something evil...into something good," they said.

Jones is asking for peace in the situation.

“What I did... I never should have done it, but I’m not a horrible person," said Jones. "I’m really not. And I really wish people would see that. People make mistakes all the time.“

No money was exchanged between the Traytes’s and Jones.

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