Some stories in the news make you feel like you're losing faith in humanity, and this bizarre story from Pennsylvania is no exception. Apparently, a couple from Friedens, PA was charged with theft and deception after allegedly faking the birth and death of a baby to solicit donations online. It's almost too strange to believe.
Kaycee and Geoffrey Lang were charged after allegedly starting a GoFundMe stating that they had lost their newborn baby shortly after birth. According to WTAE News, the couple said that they had given birth to, then subsequently suffered the loss of, their newborn baby on July 3rd. They posted a picture to social media, along with a link to a GoFundMe that said it was collecting to purchase a personalized urn for the child's remains. The only problem- it seems as if this child never existed.
Apparently, police were called by a friend of the couple who began to be suspicious of the whole story, despite being the one who threw the baby shower for the couple. She didn't see any signs of a pregnancy, and was told by Kaycee that the baby had died shortly after birth from respiratory distress. She became suspicious enough that she felt convinced that the couple was lying, and was compelled to turn them in for scamming their own support network of friends and family.
Law enforcement started investigating and found that the photo posted online was of a realistic newborn baby doll. The hospital had no record of the couple, and when their house was searched they discovered the realistic doll and a personalized urn. There were no birth or death records for this child.
The couple received gifts from a baby shower, and collections of over $500 from the GoFundMe. Since the alleged scam has come to light, GoFundMe is taking action. As is customary with GoFundMe's rules, donors will be refunded their money, and the donation page has been taken down.
According to WTAE, The couple is being charged with misdemeanors, and will likely have to appear in court in October.