A Nevada woman has been accused of faking not only her son's cancer but also his death in what cops are calling a bizarre bid to cash in on the boy's non-existent tragedy.
Police in Carson City were contacted to investigate the possibility of a “fraudulent” claim of a child’s recent death, and concerns that the child could be alive and in danger while holed up in an area motel.
However, deputies said they contacted the mother in question, 31-year-old Victoria Morrison, and she assured them her son had died of leukemia on April 8.
Cops say Morrison even pointed them to a GoFundMe account that was raising money for her son.
According to police, the page was part of Morrison's months-long deception that had the school, community and even the 10-year-old boy convinced he was dying.
Morrison even allegedly went so far as to hold a memorial service for the boy in a neighboring town.
For months, during which the boy was reportedly not attending school, cops say Morrison was gifted a shopping spree by local emergency responders, gift cards and cash, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
"His alleged illness was highlighted this past Christmas during 'Shop with a Hero' events in Carson City, and was afforded a Charity Helicopter Ride," police said in a statement.
The department added: "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," police said in a statement on Facebook.
In a GoFundMe page that has been taken down but remains viewable in Google cache and bears Morrison's name, the page creator writes:
"About a year ago my son ... fell ill after numerous doctors and me not backing down he got diagnosed with type 3 [von Willebrand disease], we thought ok we can know he's gonna be ok.
"Wrong the bleeding got worse, he started losing weight and passing out on me, my motherly instinct knew something was wrong. Back to the Drs we go, after 12 tubes of blood and two separate bone marrow test we found out its leukemia. My world fell apart he's my baby and this is a fight in not willing to give up on for him.
"[My son] made a list of things he wants to do before he gets to (sic) sick, now it's my job to help him do just that. But I'm a single mom to three other kids and work. So please if you have a spare dollar help me help my son wishes and dreams come true."
Authorities allege Morrison's son initially was diagnosed with a real but treatable illness before his mother is accused of exaggerating it in order to profit.
After following up on calls regarding allegations against Morrison, cops responded to the motel where the tipster said she was keeping the boy.
Police found the boy "in good spirits and healthy."
Working with the Carson City District Attorney, the charges eventually filed were for obtaining money under false pretenses and filing false statements.
Morrison remains in custody at the Carson City Jail and her bail has been set at $20,000. Morrison’s son and siblings were released to the care of Child Protective Services.
"The scam created by Ms. Morrison is rapidly unwinding and the details continue to emerge that are challenging investigators," police said in the release. "The extent to which Ms. Morrison went to convince others of her son’s death have investigators critically looking into who all knew that the scam was taking place, and what end possibilities could have been anticipated.
Police have put preliminary estimates of the amount of donations Morrison received at around $2,000.