A 31-year-old mother has been taken into custody for allegedly pretending that her child had died, says the Carson City Sheriff.
Victoria Morrison was arrested Friday, April 14, on suspicion of collecting money under false pretenses, Sheriff Ken Furlong confirmed to News 4-Fox 11.
Deputies learned from a witness that Morrison, 31, was collecting money from a GoFundMe page saying her child had died. The witness contacted Morrison’s spouse, who said the child was still alive.
A deputy conducted a welfare check and contacted Morrison, who said the child had died, but authorities could not find any death record with the coroner’s office.
“How it got this far down the road is just beyond me,” Furlong said.
The sheriff’s office was later able to make contact with the child, and asked Morrison about the GoFundMe page created for the child’s “celebration of life.” In other words, his funeral.
The child has not been to school in months, and a teacher is said to have given the mother gift cards upon learning of the boy’s supposed death.
A KOLO report dated December 24, 2016 details a flight first responders took the boy on, believing doctors believed Blake Showe would not live past Christmas:
Thursday’s tour highlighted a bright spot in a battle Blake has been facing since 2014. Last year, doctors diagnosed him with Von Willebrand, which is blood disorder. This year, Blake would be diagnosed with leukemia and a tumor was discovered in his leg. And last month, doctors said he is not supposed to make it to Christmas.
“We didn’t even know this kind of thing will ever reach to this point and this Christmas. We were living day by day,” said Muhammad Kashif, Blake’s stepfather.
At that time, Carson City Sheriffs Department sergeant Daniel Gonzalez said that he was inspired to arrange the flight for the boy because he heard Blake intended to donate a $100 gift card he received under the “Holidays with a Hero” program to another child as the boy believed he would not be alive to play with any toys he purchased with it.
It’s that much more tragic, then, to learn that his mother may have manufactured the whole thing; it is alleged that the boy was never sick, and certainly never about to die.
Over the last month, Morrison posted on social media repeatedly about her son’s supposed death, and there was even a service held for the boy who was very much alive.
It is believed she received around $2000 for the ruse, though the sheriff’s office is still investigating the scope.
A now-removed post on Carson Now from April 13 — written by Trina Voigt, the friend who started the “Blakes celebration of life/expences” [sic] GoFundMe campaign for Morrison based on the story of her son’s death — reads:
In 2016 after multiple health complications ten year old Blake Showe was diagnosed with type 3 Von Willebrand disease and leukemia. Sadly Blake was received into heaven on 04/08/2017.
Please take this moment to reflect on how important it is to honor Blake’s life by helping the person that loved him the most.
She is struggling a great deal after his death as she is not able to grieve in peace as she is overcome with many burdens and obligations.
She is currently working full time and does not have paid leave available. Victoria is desperately trying to hold the pieces together of what remains of her family and broken heart.
She needs help to start anew. What is most important at this time is raising funds for her to be able to move into a home. This family more than ever needs to have some sort of stability and foundation to try to put back the broken pieces after such a great loss. Let us come together to sacrifice a little for someone who has scarified so much. It can be as little as $5. Anything helps.
That GoFundMe campaign is long gone. Another campaign — also removed but archived here — started by Morrison herself reads:
About a year ago my son Blake fell ill after numerous doctors and me not backing down he got diagnosed with type 3 vonwillie brand, we thought ok we can know he’s gonna be ok. Wrong the bleeding got worse, he started losing weight and passing out on me, my motherly instinct knew something was wrong. Back to the Drs we go, after 12 tubes of blood and two separate bone marrow test we found out its leukemia. My world fell apart he’s my baby and this is a fight in not willing to give up on for him. Blake made a list of things he wants to do before he gets to sick, now it’s my job to help him do just that. But I’m a single mom to three other kids and work. So please if you have a spare dollar help me help my son wishes and dreams come true.
All four of Morrison’s children have been put into the custody of child protective services, Morrison is charged with obtaining money under false pretenses and child abuse or neglect. A GoFundMe spokesperson said the campaign started by Morrison’s friend has been removed (duh) and donors will be refunded.
I’ll be entirely honest, I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff go down on GoFundMe over the last two years but this has to be one of the craziest and most elaborate schemes I’ve had the misfortune to witness. Hopefully mom gets the help she so obviously needs.