It’s difficult to imagine anything more tragic. A mother who has lost her 5-month-old baby daughter and has no way to give their child a proper burial. Like most of us, those who had heard that story felt absolutely heartbroken. But that heartbreak quickly turned to anger when it was learned that the entire story was a lie. Now two women are facing fraud charges for their downright evil hoax.
San Bernardino, California police first picked up 41-year-old Michele Love after witnessing the woman panhandling. She carried a sign with her showing photos of a baby girl appearing to be no more than 5-months-old. Along with the photos of the baby girl was a desperate plea for kindhearted strangers to open their pockets and help give the baby a proper burial.
Less than an hour later, police returned to the same location they picked up Love only to find a second woman toting the same sign. 26-year-old drifter Chastity Doll was also arrested for panhandling and the two women’s heartless story began to crumble.
“This was done under false pretense and there were no burial funds needed,” deputies later stated in a press release cited by the New York Daily News.
It was determined the baby on the sign did not belong to either women. In addition to the signage, investigators also found other evidence to suggest the two women knew one another. They have both been booked on conspiracy to commit fraud.
This wasn’t the first time Doll has been arrested for the heartless scam. In August of 2011, ABC 10 News reported that Doll and another woman were spotted collecting funds for a deceased infant at a San Marcos shopping center. Other witnesses reported that Doll appeared to be the same woman who was arrested in Modesto for pulling a similar hoax. Both Doll and her accomplice pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on bail.