A couple was arrested Thursday after law enforcement determined they scammed friends and family out of $600. The couple faked a pregnancy on their Facebook account, before claiming their newborn had died mere hours after birth. They created a GoFundMe for funeral costs and even published an obituary for the fake child.
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The distasteful ruse started when Kaycee and Geoffrey Lang revealed on their Facebook page that they were pregnant with a boy. The Pennsylvania woman would occasionally post images of a baby bump.
In May, friends and family held a baby shower for the fictitious mother-to-be where she received an arrangement of gifts, the Daily Mail reported.
On July 3, the couple announced their son, Easton Walt Lang, was born at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital at 3:11am and weighed seven pounds. The post was accompanied by a photo. Hours later, the duo posted a heartwrenching announcement that the newborn had died.
Kaycee and Geoffrey Lang then posted an obituary of their son online and pleaded for donations on GoFundMe to help pay for funeral cost, CBS Pittsburg reported.
“Easton’s parents were blessed with just a little over 5 hours before he went to his heavenly home at 8.20 am,” the obituary reads in part. “Easton experienced holding hands and hugs and kisses with his mommy and daddy and being told uncountable number of ‘I love yous.'”
Cynthia Dilascio, who was Kaycee’s friend, told WTAE that she was told by the couple that the infant died of respiratory distress syndrome. Instead of trying to attend to the baby, Kaycee told Dilascio: “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,” Dilascio said. Putting her best detective foot forward, Dilascio called the funeral home her friend’s son service was supposedly held at only to be told they had no record of Easton ever being there.
Furious, Dilascio informed police about what she had discovered. When law enforcement searched the home, they found a fake baby doll that resembled the picture posted on Facebook previously.
In addition, there was no record of a birth or death certificate. The sonogram image Kaycee posted online was from 2015 when she reportedly did lose a baby before its birth.
In the wake of this startling announcement, GoFundMe issued a statement. “This type of behavior is not tolerated on GoFundMe. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during their investigation and we will issue full refunds to all donors,” they said in a statement.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for any misuse on the platform. All donors are fully protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means donors are protected by a comprehensive refund policy if misuse occurs.”
The two were charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property.