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Mom fakes son's cancer for $$??? REALLY??

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I am simply outraged:





Mich. mom accused of faking son's cancer arraigned

By COREY WILLIAMS (AP) – 3 hours ago



ROSEVILLE, Mich. — An unemployed Detroit-area mother accused of drugging and shaving her healthy 12-year-old son so he appeared to have cancer, then accepting thousands of dollars in donations for his treatment, was arraigned Friday on charges of fraud and child abuse.

A Roseville district court judge ordered Carol Lynn Schnuphase, 47, of Warren, held on $100,000 bond.

"A mother, no less, goes so far as to shave the head every other week, shave the eyebrows, and maybe the worst thing of all, to crushing up drugs to put in his applesauce to make him appear lethargic," said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.

A hospital has tested the boy and declared him cancer-free, although he was going through opiate withdrawal, Smith said. Authorities haven't yet determined what drugs were in the boy's system and are awaiting hospital test results.

Court records indicate Schnuphase told her son he had leukemia.

Authorities say Schnuphase elicited donations from individuals, groups and members of at least one church who believed they were helping to pay for her son's medical care as he underwent chemotherapy.

Smith said she received $7,500 from a church fundraiser, in addition to other donations, and that her son was given gifts including an Xbox video game system.

"People, out of the goodness of their hearts, seeing what they think this poor child is going through have given cash, given an Xbox, given presents trying to lift his spirits," Smith said. "This poor child, thinking all along that he is dying of cancer. It never ends; the shock."

The charade appears to have started in December, and eventually Schnuphase's family members and relatives of her deceased husband reported her to police.

After authorities removed the boy from her home earlier this summer, Schnuphase told past donors her son had died and that she needed money for his funeral and burial, Smith said.

"We see greedy people all the time and people scamming for money all the time, but we never see it to this level," he added.

"It appears as though the money is for the same thing all of us spend our money on: car payments, food, housing," Smith said. "There appear to be no gambling debts or anything else. This appears to be just a mindless greedy action."

Schnuphase was arrested Thursday after visiting the boy, who is in foster care, defense lawyer Dominic Greco said.

"They grabbed her after they had made arrangements with her to turn herself in today," he said.

Wearing a powder blue hooded pullover jacket, Schnuphase stood before Judge Marco Santia quietly answering questions about where she lived.

Greco told the judge she was standing mute to the charges. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 13. Greco said he thinks that bond was set too high.

"She doesn't have any money. All the money in her account, she was saving up for bond," he said.

Schnuphase faces two counts of fraud over $1,000, which carry sentences of up to five years. She also is charged with one count of second-degree child abuse, a felony with a sentence of up to four years.

Roseville's Deputy Police Chief James Berlin said during the scheme Schnuphase was living in her suburban Detroit home, which was in foreclosure.

Angry relatives viewed the arraignment in the small courtroom and expressed disbelief and anger toward Schnuphase afterward.

"I have never heard of such a thing where a mother would do this. I don't know what caused it," said her aunt, Lorraine Kelsch.

Former sister-in-law Elizabeth Carmack called the actions "sick and disgusting."

"I hope that she rots in jail," Carmack told reporters.

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Schnuphase faces two counts of fraud over $1,000, which carry sentences of up to five years. She also is charged with one count of second-degree child abuse, a felony with a sentence of up to four years.


I have to ask, if this is SECOND degree child abuse, what on EARTH short of murder, which would be a charge unto itself, is first degree?!

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Oh my, this is amazing. Can you even imagine? :glare:


No, I cannot imagine . . . As the mother of a two-time cancer survivor and seeing the real horrors my ds endured, I cannot imagine someone faking this for any reason whatsoever. It makes me sick to think what she put her son through.

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Munchausen Syndrome by proxy - sounds like it might have been... ?


Unfortunately, this isn't the only thing out there.


There has been a rise (don't ask me why - I just read the news about weird stuff like this in psychiatry) in factitious disorders of all types, especially on the internet. This page gives a list of many of them (here are a few):


The sufferer: this might include feigning or exaggerating illness, playing on an injury, or perhaps causing or inviting injury, in extreme cases going as far as losing a limb. Severe cases may meet the diagnostic criteria for Munchausen Syndrome (also know as Factitious Disorder). The illness or injury becomes a vehicle for gaining sympathy and thus attention. The attention-seeker excels in manipulating people through their emotions, especially that of guilt. It's very difficult not to feel sorry for someone who relates a plausible tale of suffering in a sob story or "poor me" drama.




The manipulator: she may exploit family relationships, manipulating others with guilt and distorting perceptions; although she may not harm people physically, she causes everyone to suffer emotional injury. Vulnerable family members are favourite targets. A common attention-seeking ploy is to claim she is being persecuted, victimised, excluded, isolated or ignored by another family member or group, perhaps insisting she is the target of a campaign of exclusion or harassment.




The mind-poisoner: adept at poisoning peoples' minds by manipulating their perceptions of others, especially against the current target.


The drama queen: every incident or opportunity, no matter how insignificant, is exploited, exaggerated and if necessary distorted to become an event of dramatic proportions. Everything is elevated to crisis proportions. Histrionics may be present where the person feels she is not the centre of attention but should be. Inappropriate flirtatious behaviour may also be present.


The busy bee: this individual is the busiest person in the world if her constant retelling of her life is to be believed. Everyday events which are regarded as normal by normal people take on epic proportions as everyone is invited to simultaneously admire and commiserate with this oh-so-busy person who never has a moment to herself, never has time to sit down, etc. She's never too busy, though, to tell you how busy she is.




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Munchausen Syndrome by proxy - sounds like it might have been... ?


This. :iagree:I was thinking that as I was reading the article. It blows my mind how someone could do such things to their own child, though. I still don't understand it. :cry:



That's frightening.

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