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Mother in Michigan accused of faking son's illness arraigned in court today

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The woman is an unemployed mother accused of faking a terminal illness to the point of shaving the head of her healthy 12-year-old-son. She attempted to make her son look as if he was suffering from terminal leukemia in order to collect money from her community. Today she was arraigned in court for fraud and child abuse charges.

The district court judge said that Carol Lynn Schnuphase should be held over on $100,000 bond.

The woman is accused of shaving all of the hair, including the eyebrows, off of her son. In addition she is accused of crushing up medication into her son’s applesauce that would make him appear lethargic and sick as if he had just been through chemotherapy. The hospital, meanwhile, gave the young man a number of tests to determine that he was cancer free. He was, however, suffering through withdrawal symptoms from being taken off the medication his mother had been feeding him.

Schnuphase informed her son that he had leukemia. She then went about soliciting donations from her church and from individuals in the community where she lived. She received up to $7,000 at one church fundraiser. Her son received additional money and gift including an Xbox.

The deceptions and solicitations appear to have started in December. It was Schnuphase’s family that eventually discovered what she was up to and notified police. When authorities removed her son from her home she continued to try and garner money by telling people her son had died and she needed money for the funeral.

Schnuphase was arrested on Thursday after showing up at his foster home for a visit. She appeared in court today wearing a blue sweatshirt and answered only basic questions from the judge about where she lived. Her lawyer has said she is remaining mute on the charges but investigators have admitted that she seems to have spent the money on car payments, food and housing payments.

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