Police in Texas filed felony charges this week against an 18-year-old girl who they say faked having cancer in order to scam money from sympathetic donors.
According to the Associated Press, since at least late last year Angie Gomez has been telling people that is she suffering from leukemia. At that time she said the cancer she battled for eleven years as a child had come back and that she likely wouldn't live to see the summer.
In May she set up the Achieve the Dream Foundation to raise money to allegedly help kids with leukemia. She raised $17,000.
But in June someone reported Gomez to police, telling officers that the girl said she was dying, yet she didn't look sick at all. Police investigated, leading to a startling conclusion.
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"We haven't found anything that indicates that she does have leukemia," Horizon City police Detective Liliana Medina said on Wednesday.
Police filed theft charges, but the district attorney's office is reviewing the case before it orders an arrest.
The evidence against her includes her contention to the El Paso Times in March that from age two until 13, she "practically lived" at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. The AP said hospital records show that no patient with her name was treated at the hospital in the past 10 years.
She also said she was treated the famous St. Jude Children's hospital, but there are no records that she was ever there, either.
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Gomez's parents apparently knew what was going on, but it is unclear what steps they took to stop her.
"The parents had seen the articles and they were trying to get her to correct them. But we don't know what she was telling them," Detective Jonathan Walden said, adding. "They didn't talk too much" with their daughter.
Three months ago Gomez's mother posted a sign in her window that read, "No comment, call the detective."