A 41-year-old Ohio mom has been charged with theft by deception after allegedly faking that her 7-year-old daughter had leukemia for years.
According to the Noble County Sheriff’s Office, Pamela Reed "publicly portrayed" the health of her 7-year-old daughter-- going so far as shaving her daughter's head.
The mother said that she "liked the support" given as a result of the fake cancer scheme, according to the police affidavit.
Authorities said that for years the 41-year-old mother paraded her daughter's fake cancer diagnosis to local organizations who initiated fundraising efforts and had made monetary contributions to help the family offset medical expenses.
Sheriff Jason Mackie said one local organization donated $8,000 to the family.
On a Facebook page named "Our ‘Rae’ of Sunshine - Team Addey Rae," Reed regularly wrote updates about her daughter's alleged cancer treatment.
In Oct. 2023, the page posted about a "hog roast benefit for Addey Reed," to help raise fund for the girl's treatment.
The page, which has over 1,000 likes, saw an outpouring of support for Reed's daughter, with many writing that they were praying for her health.
Reed's elaborate facade ended on Jan. 8 when she was arrested following an investigation by local police and Noble County Children’s Services.
The sheriff's office said that four days prior to Reed's arrest, authorities received a tip about the mother's scheme.
According to the affidavit, Shenandoah Elementary School alerted authorities to Reed's lies after they contacted the daughter's medical provider, who confirmed that the 7-year-old had not been diagnosed or treated for cancer or leukemia.
Reed allegedly told the school that her daughter was also blind in her right eye and would need surgery soon.
The elementary school said that they also had concerns after the 7-year-old had missed 280 hours of school this school year.
After an investigation, authorities also confirmed that Reed's daughter "did not have cancer," police said.
During Reed's interview by police, the mother admitted during questions that she had "exaggerated and fabricated medical conditions to receive monetary donations from local organizations.
Reed admitted to authorities that she shaved her daughter's head to continue the facade of her daughter's fake diagnosis, the affidavit said.
Reed also admitted that she obtained seizure medication because of what she reported to the doctors. Reed acknowledged that her daughter did not likely need the medication.
Reed was charged with theft by deception, a felony of the fourth degree. Noble County Court Judge Jennifer Arnold set her bond at $50,000.
In a joint statement by Sheriff Mackie and Misty Wells, the Director of the Department of Job and Family Services, the pair said that child abuse and neglect "isn't always cut and dry."
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"We are extremely proud of the Children’s Services staff along with law enforcement collaborative efforts to quickly act for the safety of these children. Child abuse and neglect isn't always cut and dry, cookie cutter scenarios," the statement said.
"If you, as a professional or as a member of our community, feel like something just isn’t quite right, don't hesitate, make the report," the statement said. "The grit and devotion of this team is inspiring."
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