An Ohio mother is accused of faking her daughter's terminal illness and raising thousands of dollars to fund trips and other expenses.
Investigators with the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services became aware of the allegations last week against the mother, Lindsey Abbuhl. A neglect and abuse complaint states that investigators found "no evidence to support" Abbuhl's claims that her child is terminally ill.
The child, whose name is redacted from the complaint, also told investigators that she did not have a major medical condition.
According to the complaint, Abbuhl had her daughter going to counseling "to learn how to process her own death." The counselor, who was preparing to go on maternity leave, was told that the girl might not be alive by the time she got back, the complaint states.
Abbuhl allegedly profited off the ruse by raising more than $4,000 on a GoFundMe. Investigators said she used the money to "obtain funding [for[ trips, housing, and other expenses over the last several years."
Lindsey Abbuhl is accused of faking her daughter's terminal illness.
Lindsey Abbuhl is accused of faking her daughter's terminal illness.via Facebook
A GoFundMe spokesperson said in a statement that the account has since been removed and the company will provide a refund to anyone who requests one.
"We take all reports very seriously and take action to fully protect our community," the spokesperson said. "Fundraisers with misuse are very rare and if misuse of funds takes place on GoFundMe, donors are protected and their donations are refunded. Our team works with law enforcement to report issues and assists them in investigations."
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After the agency became aware of Abbuhl's alleged scheme, they had a medical professional evaluate the child and review her medical records. The professional found that "there is no evidence to support [the] mother's claim," the complaint states.
When questioned by the police about faking the terminally ill diagnosis, Abbuhl said, "we did not intentionally do that," the complaint says.
The child has been temporarily placed in the care of the agency. The complaint states that Abbuhl and the girl's father, Jamie Abbuhl, are divorced and he had court-ordered visitation that Abbuhl supervised.
The father told investigators that Lindsey Abbuhl did not allow him to participate in medical conditions and he did not have access to his daughter's medical records. Neither parent could be reached Wednesday at phone numbers listed for them.