A couple in Pennsylvania has been accused of cooking up a hoax involving the birth, and then death of a child that never existed in what police say was an attempt to obtain gifts and money.
Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang, of Somerset, PA were charged on Thursday by State Police with theft by deception and receiving stolen property after they allegedly faked a pregnancy and then the tragic death of their newborn child.
According to police, the Langs announced their pregnancy and at one point in May, even held a baby shower at a friend's house. The couple posted a photo of a baby, that they said was born on July 3, but died of respiratory distress syndrome only a few hours after he was born.
The couple established a GoFundMe account to purportedly help them pay for the funeral expenses and had raised around $550.
The couple's alleged deception didn't last long after a friend of theirs stepped forward and told police the Langs had constructed the elaborate hoax. Investigators quickly learned there was no hospital records of the birth and no medical history for the mother or the child. Additionally, the funeral home where the couple said they'd cremated their newborn, said they had not dealt with the couple at all, according to WTOC.
During a search of the Lang's home, police discovered a life-like baby doll, which police believe was used to fake the photos of the Lang's newborn, as well as a personalized urn with the name "Easton Walt Lang" engraved on it.
GoFundMe issued a statement, writing:
"This type of behavior is not tolerated on GoFundMe. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during their investigation and we will issue full refunds to all donors.
"We have a zero tolerance policy for any misuse on the platform. All donors are fully protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means donors are protected by a comprehensive refund policy if misuse occurs. This campaign received 15 donations totaling $550."