Apr 22, 2011 11:39 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A mom who created an elaborate lie by telling people her child had cancer in order to steal money from them has been charged with multiple counts of theft, an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office news release said.
Jacinta K. Millikin, 42, told Wildwood Elementary School parents and teachers that her child had cancer and needed money for the third-grade child's transportation and treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Maj. Lawrence McLeary said in the release.
Millikin was able to raise $3,500 in cash and $275 worth of donated groceries from the Wildwood Elementary School community and Chapel in the Oaks Church, McLeary said.
Some of the people who donated money eventually became suspicious and contacted detectives who determined the child was healthy and Millikin had made up the story, McLeary said.
The mom avoided detectives by fleeing to Alexandria once she became a suspect, McLeary said.
Alexandria police arrested her on Wednesday, he said.
Millikin faces one count of felony theft and 39 counts of misdemeanor theft, McLeary said.
Chris Trahan, school system spokesman, said Millikin's deception was hard to believe.
"This is a very unfortunate situation for the child and family, as well as the school staff who were more than willing to donate when asked," Trahan said.
"At the same time, this illustrates the commitment that many of our teachers, principals and staff have to students and families they serve," he added. "I doubt this incident will affect that dedication if they are asked again to help any of their students."