A California mother of four was arrested Friday for faking her 10-year-old son’s illness and death in order to solicit donations, which she then pocketed. 31-year-old Victoria Morrison of Carson City collected thousands of dollars via a now-deleted GoFundMe account, and even tricked local ABC affiliate KOLO 8 into doing a feature on her supposedly-sickly son. Her child was also a victim of her deception: he believed he only had months to live and was hidden away as she organized a memorial service in his memory.
According to investigators, Morrison’s child was actually diagnosed with a treatable childhood illness over a year ago. However, she faked medical information and exaggerated his diagnosis to to convince people he was suffering from a terminal case of leukemia. His fake plight was highlighted this past Christmas during “Shop with a Hero” events in Carson City, and he was given a Charity Helicopter Ride. She kept the boy out of school for months and updated everyone via social media on his condition. According to CBS affiliate KTVN, she announced his death and cremation this past month, and later held a memorial service for him.
Her story began to unravel after a family friend asked Carson City Sheriff's deputies to do a welfare check on the children. According to the friend, Morrison’s spouse, and the children’s stepfather, the boy was alive. They also contacted the county coroner's office but could locate no death certificate for the boy. They eventually found him and his siblings holed up at an area motel, describing the 10-year-old as “healthy.”
Morrison was arrested and charged with Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses and Filing False Statements, and her bail was set at $20,000. Police estimate she collected at least $2,000 from her GoFundMe account, if not more. Morrison’s four children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, while their stepfather is reportedly cooperating with investigators.
[Photo: Carson City Sheriff's Office]