A Pennsylvania couple told family and friends they were having a baby boy, then posted an image of their newborn with the tragic news that he had died just hours after entering the world.
But the story was a lie from beginning to end, police said.
Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang were charged last week with theft by deception and receiving stolen property after a woman came forward to Pennsylvania State Police saying she had thrown a baby shower for the couple but doubted they ever had a baby.
Kaycee told friends and family she needed to be on bed rest for the last two months of her pregnancy, police said.
On July 3, they posted online that their son, Easton Walt Lang, had been born at 3:11 a.m. and weighed 7 pounds. Five hours later, the child died from an accumulation of fluid in his lungs, they said. An online obituary said, "Eaton experienced holding hands and hugs and kisses with his mommy and daddy and being told uncountable number of 'I love yous.'"
Cynthia Dilascio, who hosted a shower for the couple when Kaycee claimed to be about three months along, went to police after she became suspect of Kaycee's account of how the baby allegedly died.
"The baby had fluid in his lungs, but they gave him back to her and said, 'He'll be fine.' I knew that just didn't seem right," she told WTAE-TV.
Police investigators checked the funeral home where the baby had supposedly been cremated but said they found no record of any such service. The hospital where Kaycee claimed to have given birth had no record of her either, police said.
A GoFundMe account was established to help with funeral costs, police said. After the couple was arrested, a spokesperson for the fundraising site said the donations would be refunded. The site pledged to "fully cooperate with enforcement officials during their investigation."
"This campaign received 15 donations totaling $550," the spokesperson said.
Clothes, diapers and wipes were also received at the shower.
Police searched the couple's home and found a lifelike newborn doll and a cremation urn, officers said.
The couple has not entered pleas on their misdemeanor charges. Their next court appearance is scheduled for October. It was not clear whether they had retained an attorney.