Wood County woman faking cancer to get donations
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 10:44:49 GMT —
UPDATED: 38-year-old Kimberlie Gustwiller of Wood County was arrested after collecting money to treat cancer she allegedly doesn't have.
"It quickly became apparent once we received the medical records, that something definitely wasn't right," says North Baltimore Police Chief Allan Baer.
But the community members, population of only 4,212, had already set up the Kimberlie Gustwiller Fund to help the mother of five. The charity raised money through a website, silent auctions and other initiatives.
Chief Baer says, "To be honest, this whole community was pretty much hoodwinked."
A large event had been planned for October 20, which the town will apparently still proceed with.
"They opened their minds, their hearts, their wallets. There's just been an amazing outpouring by almost everyone in this community. There hardly isn't a kid in high school without a pink strip in their hair," says Baer.
However now the money that they raise will go to someone that deserves it, they said.
Mary Ward owns a business downtown. She says she is personally affected by cancer and couldn't believe it when she heard.
"It really upsets me. My sister passed away five years [ago] cancer, we never asked. I have a mother-in-law, sister-in-law. Now I have a brother-in-law that has it really bad," says Ward
She says the town is very giving. Only now they might be a little more skeptical when they give money.
She says, "I think all the business owners, and everybody here in this town will now will be more cautious."
Gustwiller also told fund raisers she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was pregnant with her fifth child, which she claimed to have overcome.
North Baltimore Police say, while they cannot confirm that at this time, evidence points to that being a lie as well.
Folks that spoke with WNWO were outraged.
Mary Ward said, "It is sad that somebody would do something like that. To stoop that low. I feel sorry for her family. I feel sorry for her kids."
Gustwiller posted bail after spending a weekend in the Wood County Jail and will now await her day in court.
The charge of Fifth Degree Felony, Theft by Deception, can come with 6-12 months in jail and include fines of up to $2,500.