40-year-old Danita Tutt was arrested Friday after officials say she not only exaggerated and/or manufactured her 13-year-old son Colby’s ‘terminal illness,’ but may have even caused his distressing medical conditions.
Fugitive officers picked her up at her home Friday afternoon, and she is being held on $25,000 bail.
Child Protective Services took custody of Colby and his younger brother May 6 after a report was made to the state agency that the Tutts had removed Colby from the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, where he had been receiving palliative care since April 21.
The report claimed that Tutt had been refusing to feed and provide water to Colby and that she had already made funeral arrangements and purchased a casket for the boy.
“Mrs. Tutt is an attention-seeking type person and enjoys the attention she gets for having two medically fragile children,” the allegations included, according to CPS documents obtained by the Star-Telegram. “There are concerns that she may end Colby’s life. There are concerns for the safety of his sibling.”
Colby’s story as presented by his mother gained national attention, notably after the family’s Help out the Tutt Boys GoFundMe campaign caught the attention of the WWE. It stated Colby’s ‘dying wish’ was to attend Wrestlemania. “We decided to make memories and give him the best quality of life we can,” Tutt told ABC in March. “If everyone could see the world the way Colby does, the world would be a better place. He’s just an amazing kid that doesn’t deserve anything he’s had to go through these last 13 years.”
We were unable to find a full copy of the fundraiser, however we did find this cache which appears to be from the original (now removed, obviously). It appears as though the campaign was started by a friend of Tutt’s whose son was also suffering from chronic illness:
The Tutt Family got some hard news today that Colby will be going home on hospice for kids in the next few days. Please help me make a wish come true for Colby. He was supposed to go to WWE in October but unfortunately he was in the hospital and couldn’t go. My son Cayden Tucker who is also chronically ill but doing well at the moment loves WWE so we had promised the boys that when WWE came back in April we would take them. When all Cayden could do is lay in bed for 3 years WWE is what kept him going and that’s when he discovered WWE. With all the expenses the Tutt family is having to deal with, let alone the emotional stress of this decision I am asking for your help. If you know some connected to Jerry Jones or the Cowboys or someone associated with WWE please give them my contact info. We just want to get these boys, mostly for Colby’s sake to the WWE match on April 3rd at Cowboys stadium and make it a special night that Colby dreams of. If you don’t have a contact please donate so they can have the money to buy tickets, they are very expensive. Hoping this will reach Jerry Jones or someone in Cowboys organization or WWE organization that can make this happen and maybe even get Colby to meet some wrestlers and make it a night he will remember forever! Please help in anyway if you can. They would need 4 tickets. If you don’t know connection or can’t donate please share to everyone you know and hopefully it will reach someone that can help! This is my way of trying to make a precious little boys dream come true!
In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, supporters also held benefits for both Colby and his younger brother Colton, who also allegedly suffers from a rare medical condition.
“Danita is the strongest person I’ve ever known,” Tutt’s friend of 25 years Christie Morgan told the Cleburne Times-Review last April. “She is just always at the hospital and she will listen to what the doctors have to say, but if she didn’t agree she would see another doctor to get more answers. She just never settles for what they have to say.”
Interestingly, ‘doctor shopping’ is a pretty common red flag in Munchausen by proxy cases.
Since we can’t find a cached copy of the GoFundMe campaign, we aren’t sure how much was raised, however GoFundMe told the Star-Telegram that donors can contact them directly for a refund.
Meanwhile, officials say Colby is improving and has gained 10 lbs since he was removed from his mother’s care.
Read more: Police arrest mom accused of making son sick, then buying his casket [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]