CARSON CITY, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — UPDATED: 12:50 p.m. 4/18/17
A woman was arrested for allegedly lying about her child dying in an effort to collect money from others, according to the Carson City Sheriff.
Victoria Morrison was arrested Friday, April 14, on suspicion of collecting money under false pretenses, Sheriff Ken Furlong confirmed to News 4-Fox 11.
Deputies learned from a witness that Morrison, 31, was collecting money from a GoFundMe page saying her child had died. The witness contacted Morrison's spouse, who said the child was still alive.
A deputy conducted a welfare check and contacted Morrison, who said the child had died, but authorities could not find any death record with the coroner's office.
"How it got this far down the road is just beyond me," Furlong said.
This is so bizarre.
Another deputy was dispatched and made contact with the child, who appeared to be well. They contacted Morrison again, who said a friend established the GoFundMe page.
Authorities also learned a teacher gave her gift cards upon learning the child had died.
Morrison was arrested and booked into Carson City Jail and her bail is set at $20,000. Her son was taken into the custody of the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services.
Sheriff Furlong on Tuesday said investigators learned that Morrison's child had been diagnosed with a treatable childhood illness well over a year ago, but she used embellished medical information to convince the child, the schools, and the public that he was terminally ill. Her son is alleged to have not attended school in months.
Authorities say his alleged illness was highlighted this past Christmas during “Shop with a Hero” events in Carson City, and was afforded a Charity Helicopter Ride. During the past month, Morrison informed everyone, primarily through social media, that her son had died and his body had been cremated. A memorial service was held in Churchill County, investigators say.
"A service was held in Fallon mourning his loss when in fact he's been fine all along," Furlong said.
He has been found, he is happy, he's healthy.
The current estimates of donations received is still being calculated, but weekend immediate estimates have suggested at least $2,000, according to the sheriff's office.
"We are interviewing as many other people as we can find that are associated with this case to determine who knew that this was going on or should have known and possibly aided in the construction of this scam," Furlong said.
Anyone with information regarding this fraud is encouraged to contact the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Detectives Division, at 887-2500.