An Ohio mother was arrested Monday for running a Dee Dee Blanchard-esque grift in which she pocketed thousands of dollars after pretending her young daughter was suffering from cancer.
Pamela Reed, 41, allegedly lied to her friends and family for years about the health of her 7-year-old daughter, whom she publicly masqueraded on the internet as a blind and sickly child suffering from a trove of medical anomalies, including acute myeloid leukemia and regular seizures.
Reed admitted to even shaving her young child’s head in order to sell the plot, cops said.
Community members generously “participated in fundraising efforts and had made monetary contributions to help the family offset medical costs,” the Noble County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The demented scheme came crashing down last week after an elementary school nurse discovered the little girl was not blind in her right eye as her mother had claimed, an arrest affidavit shows.
Reed had previously told the nurse that her daughter — identified as AR in the records — would have a port implanted in the future for her cancer treatments, which had caused the girl to miss more than 280 hours of school in the 2023-2024 year already, the documents state.
The nurse called AR’s provider, who confirmed her suspicion: “AR did not have cancer or leukemia, and she never had cancer or leukemia.”
The avalanche of documents Reed gave the school concerning AR’s purported cancer were all fake, the doctor asserted.
Reed later confessed to falsifying the papers, as well as repackaging prescriptions to appear as though they were cancer treatment medication and feeding AR seizure medication she did not need.
When questioned by cops, Reed initially tried to lie before admitting she had carried on the ruse “because she liked the support given as a result,” the affidavit states.
Reed has been routinely posting about AR’s fabricated health flights on a page dedicated to her scheme since October 2017, when the girl was just 20 months old.
At the time, Reed claimed AR suffered from Severe Aplastic Anemia, a disease in which the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells for the body, though it is not clear whether the illness was also concocted.
On the page, she has shared several links to online fundraisers throughout the years — only some of which have since been taken down — which garnered thousands of dollars that Reed allegedly planted directly into her own pockets.
One organization reported they gave the Reed family around $8,000 to help with the expenses of cancer treatments, cops said.
Just two days before her arrest, Reed claimed on Facebook that AR’s health was deteriorating.
“When they told us this was going to be the biggest fight so far, we thought we were prepared, but nothing prepares a parent to see any of this……Our hearts are shattered with every single treatment, every single tear and every single night we have to explain, why her……because we don’t have that answer,” Reed wrote, claiming her daughter would be starting 10 weeks of intense cancer treatment.
The scheme was so thick that even Reed’s other daughter thought her sister “had cancer and was severely ill,” the records show.
It is not clear whether Reed’s husband was in on the plot, but he was not home at the time of Reed’s arrest and their two children were removed from the home.
Reed was charged with theft, by deception, a felony of the fourth degree.
Her bond was set at $50,000.