Authorities say that in an elaborate scam to steal money from good-hearted strangers, a Texas mother invented the story that her 7-year-old daughter had terminal cancer and desperately needed money for treatment.
Juanita Ortiz Garcia, though, wasn't just lying to strangers. She also tricked her daughter into believing she was dying of the incurable illness, even going as far as shaving the child's head to lend credibility to the ruse.
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The Hidalgo County Sheriffs Office reported in a Facebook post that the 46-year-old mom was reporting to people in person and via social media, that her daughter had terminal cancer and only had months to live. Witnesses reported that Garcia would approach them asking for monetary donations to pay for her daughter's cancer treatments.
Through the course of the investigation, Investigators reportedly discovered that seven year old child had been medically evaluated, and no illness had been found. During questioning, Garcia admitted to Investigators that her daughter had never been diagnosed with cancer, and that she had obtained monetary donations from various persons.
MEDIA RELEASE - SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR EXPLOITATION OF A CHILDHidalgo County Sheriff's Investigators have arrested a...
Investigators have reportedly arrested Garcia for Exploitation of a Child, considered a third degree felony. She was formally arraigned on Thursday and was given a $10,000.00 cash surety bond before being committed to the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office said in their post that they in no way want this news to discourage people from donating to legitimate and worthy causes. They just want them to take some precautions before doing so. %shareLinks-quote="In many cases, asking questions and utilizing good common-sense approaches can prevent someone from being the target of a fraudulent scheme. Legitimate organizations, groups, or persons who are fundraising will have ways to verify and confirm information about their events." type="quote" author="Sergeant J.P. Rodriguez" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"% Watch this teen cancer survivor get the birthday surprise of a lifetime:
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