The more I think about this, the more I really wonder if this wasn't a set up by the folks in Utah who want to keep records sealed. Keep fighting Jill.
Woman Accused Of Stealing Adoption Records, Investigation Said Unethical
In an emotional interview, Jill Ekstrom tells 2News that police stole an adopted man's identity and had her lie to the birth parents in telling them that they would be able to see their birth child.
“A Davis County detective had me call a birth mother, and tell her she was going to get to meet her child!” Said Ekstrom.....“imagine if it were your mother!” A woman who helps adopted people find their birth parents is now facing charges for stealing sealed adoption records. The woman claims innocence and adds that police were unethical in the investigation.
In an emotional interview, Jill Ekstrom tells 2News reporter Jennifer Stagg of how police used another man’s identity to have her notify the real birth mother that she would be able to see her birth child.
“A Davis County detective had me call a birth mother, and tell her she was going to get to meet her child!” Said Ekstrom, with tears streaming down her face. “They stole a man's identity, they had me call his birth mother,” she briefly pauses to regain control of her emotions and says, “imagine if it were your mother!”
It all started when a man named “Chris” contacted Ekstrom through an e-mail.
Chris, who was in fact a Davis County detective, told Ekstrom that he was an adopted person looking for his birth parents.
As she has done for thousands before, Ekstrom agreed to help find the birth parents.
For the past ten years, Ekstrom has made her living reuniting families as a confidential intermediary. This is someone who, for a fee, tracks down birth families and adopted children.
“I would go to court, I would be given the birth mother's name, she would need to be located, she would have to give permission, the adoptee would have to give permission, and the adopted parents would have to give permission,” says Ekstrom.
This time, Davis County Police say that Ekstrom broke the law when tying to help the undercover detective find the birth parents.
Authorities say that Eksrtom went to the Davis County courthouse to conduct research. There she allegedly stole three to five rolls of microfilm.
Ekstrom denies the claims.
“I never stole them. I never stole adoption microfilm,” says Ekstrom.
Police say that they are confident that Eksrtom is guilty because she was in fact able to contact the birth mother.
But what about the overjoyed birth mother who was lied to, when told that she would be able to see her birth child?
Davis County Prosecutor Rick Westmoreland says that officer did not foresee the potential ethical problems when planning the investigation.
“There's certainly things that could have been done that weren't. We live and learn in law enforcement all the time,” says Westmoreland.
Jill Ekstrom is now facing 21 counts of altering public records.
The adoptee and birth family whose information was used in the sting, without their consent, has reached an agreement with Davis County. The specifics of that deal are being kept confidential.