Ohio Mother Faked Daughter's Cancer for Financial Gain, Led Other Child Believe Sibling was Dying

Pamela Reed
Pamela Reed Facebook

An Ohio woman is accused of raking in thousands of dollars by lying and pretending that her daughter was suffering from cancer.

In a statement posted on Facebook from the Noble County Sheriff's Office in Ohio on Wednesday, authorities said they arrested 41-year-old Pamela Reed on Jan. 8 and charged her with theft by deception.

Court records show Reed was arraigned Tuesday and goes before a judge in Noble County again on Jan. 16 for a preliminary hearing. A public defender was assigned to her case.

Reed Lied About Daughter's Blindness, Seizures and Said She Needed a 'Port' for Her Cancer Treatments

Detectives said they were tipped off on Jan. 4 that Reed's daughter might not actually be sick as her mother had claimed for weeks to various local organizations.

People "participated in fundraising efforts and had made monetary contributions to help the family offset medical costs," the sheriff's office said. Reed allegedly collected $8,000 from unsuspecting donors in her Pleasant City, Ohio, community.

In an affidavit of facts, authorities said Reed also lie about her daughter being blind in her right eye, having seizures and requiring medical equipment for her impending cancer treatments.

A school administrator at the child's elementary school raised the alarm, police said, when a regular eye exam led to them have "concerns" about the veracity of Reed's claims. Police also said an administrator had contacted a "provider" who confirmed the child did not have cancer or leukemia as Reed had claimed. Authorities said the child missed more than 280 school days.

Reed Admitted to Fabricating Medical Conditions, Documents to Rake in Donations

Police said during an interview with Reed, she admitted "that she had exaggerated and fabricated medical conditions to receive monetary donations from local organizations."

She also allegedly told police during a Jan. 8 interview that her daughter "did not have cancer and she posted [statements on Facebook] because she liked the support given as a result," the affidavit notes.

"Pamela posted numerous statements on Facebook about A.R. having cancer. There have been fundraisers, and donations collected to assist the Reeds with A.R.'s 'cancer' treatments. Zeps Against Cancer Organization reported they gave the Reed Family around $8,000 to help with the expenses of cancer treatments for A.R."

In one post Reed made in September to promote a now-deleted GoFundMe, she claimed the family had at least $10,000 worth of out-of-pocket expenses. According to The Daily Jefferson, a local news outlet, the GoFundMe was seeking $5,000 and had raised $2,184. The last donations were made two months ago.

Reed allegedly also admitted to altering documents for a "provider," presumably, a health insurance provider, to state her daughter had leukemia. She fabricated the phony forms using her tablet at home, police said.

Reed Even Led Her Other Daughter Believe the Older One Actually Had Cancer

In addition to the child Reed allegedly exploited outright, police said she has another daughter who lived at home with her and A.R. That daughter, with the same initials, records show, is just 7 years old and was under the belief her sister "had cancer and was severely ill."

Reed is married, though her husband's name was not identified in records. He was not home at the time of her arrest and the children were subsequently "removed as there were concerns for their safety," the affidavit states. "I felt there was a substantial risk to the healthy and safety of both the children," the affiant wrote.

Theft by deception is a fourth-degree felony. Reed's bond was set at $50,000. Theft by deception is a fourth-degree felony; Ohio laws state that offenders charged with a fourth-degree felony are subject to up to 18 months of imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of six months. Those charged with crimes could also be fined up to $5,000.