A couple from Pennsylvania fooled people including friends and relatives with an emotional fake story.
We often sympathize with the sorrows and struggles of people. When you come across the story of a particularly painful loss, it will tug at your heartstrings to try and change it. It might be consoling words or even some financial help depending on our capability. But there are also people who wouldn't mind taking advantage of this nature as long as it serves their own needs. Such was a couple from Pennsylvania who scammed hundreds of people online by taking advantage of the sympathy that's associated with the pain of losing a child.
According to ABC News, Geoffrey, 23, and Kaycee Lang, 27, reportedly lied about getting pregnant and losing their newborn few hours after the birth. The couple then started a GoFundMe page with a makeshift doll picture exploiting people online including family and friends by accepting gifts and money with their emotional back story. The couple not only got a total donation of $550 but also received gifts worth more than $600.
Fake parents tricked loved ones into forking out for the birth and funeral costs of their newborn - who turned out to be a dollhttps://t.co/kVT7iOFjXH— The Standard Digital (@StandardKenya) August 17, 2019
"This type of behavior is not tolerated on GoFundMe," said Meghan Scripture, a GoFundMe spokeswoman. "We will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during their investigation and we will issue full refunds to all donors. We have a zero-tolerance policy for any misuse on the platform. All donors are fully protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means donors are protected by a comprehensive refund policy if misuse occurs," quoted ABC News.
The couple claimed that their son Easton Walt Lang was born on July 3, 2019, at the Conemaugh Memorial Hospital and died hours after his birth. They started asking for financial help to fund a personalized urn for their dead baby.
The complaints filed by a suspicious woman Cynthia Dilascio who threw a baby's shower for the couple made way for a police investigation which made some shocking discoveries. "I don't know if they were doing it for the money. I don't know what their motive was to hurt your family and everybody its just sick," said Cynthia to WTAE.
She said that the woman showed no signs of being pregnant and even started avoiding friends around her seventh month. Though the couple tried to convince her with the story, Cynthia was not ready to buy it. “I knew that this was fake. I couldn’t go and sit and watch this go on and know the truth,” said Cynthia.
'I don’t know what their motive was - to hurt your family and everybody?' #baby #Court #death #family #fraud #funeral #investigation #law #money #Obituary #police #pregnancy #theft https://t.co/QtfO1ZyOeb— The Western Journal (@WestJournalism) August 18, 2019
Kaycee Lang, who was questioned by the police said that her son Easton Walt Lang died due to a Respiratory Distress Syndrome just hours after his birth. Geoffrey, on the other hand, said that he was not present during the birth or death of his son. He even added that his wife was discharged soon after the newborn's death. "The baby died from fluid in his lungs and his heart rate dropping below 50 bpm," said the husband to police according to the documents.
The "father" then went on to claim that the body of the baby was cremated by the Hindman Funeral Home. However, the couple's claims were proved wrong when the hospital and funeral home officials declined their statements.
Further investigations proved that the whole incident was a lie. They found a lifelike baby doll that matched the pictures posted by the couple and a personalized urn at their residence.
Officers found that a couple of women, some who donated money to the couple, others who got them gifts when invited to the baby shower. An unidentified woman even told police that she helped them set up the GoFundMe page describing their need for money.
The couple has been charged with theft and deception and will appear in court on October 2019.