Benita and Mark Cutter have dreamed of only one thing since they met – to one day have a child together.
But when doctors told them that Benita would never be able to carry her own child, those dreams started to take a different form.
The couple began looking into surrogates in the hopes that another woman could carry their baby.
When they found Samantha Brown on a magazine forum in 2013, she seemed like the perfect fit. The Cutters sent Brown Mark’s sperm. She immediately responded that she had inseminated herself, and reported that she had conceived only a few days later.
Brown proceeded to send the couple fake pregnancy scans and bills for pretend hospital check-ups and ante-natal classes.
Benita told The Sun that Brown made the Cutters feel like an important part of the “pregnancy”, calling the baby “CJ” for “Cutter Junior”.
In total, the Cutters paid Brown £8,000 - more than $15,000 AUD - for "expenses" related to the fake pregnancy, with Brown even claiming she'd lost her job due to "complications" with the pregnancy.
But the Cutters persevered with the payment, knowing it would be worthwhile when their baby boy was delivered into their arms. They'd already named him Tommie, and purchased an entire wardrobe of clothes for him.
Then, three days before the "due date", the Cutters received a text message from Brown, alleging that she'd been in a car accident and that the baby was stillborn. She accompanied the text with a photo of what she claimed was the dead foetus.
Devastated and suspicious of Brown's motives, the Cutters calling the police, asking them to investigate whether Brown had decided to keep the baby for herself.