Woman Accused of Faking Cancer Diagnosis
A community opened its wallets for a sick woman. Now, the Ross County prosecutor says, she's not sick at all and facing felony charges.
A grand jury indicted Mindy Taylor on charges of grand theft and theft by deception.
"As far as I knew, she was ill and had health problems as long as she's lived here," neighbor Joe Helsel said.
Helsel knew all about Mindy Taylor's alleged illnesses. She said she had lupus, suffered strokes and had recently been diagnosed with cancer.
He even gave to her cause along the way.
"Received a notice basically, then she'd send a thank you note afterward with her little card, thanks for the donation," said Helsel.
But the prosecutor says Helsel may have been donating to Taylor's personal pocketbook.
"Several thousand dollars was raised and sent to an account that Ms. Taylor appears to have used for personal expenses, luxury items and other things," said Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt.
"Oh it's a shock. I'm surprised," said Helsel.
Probably because it seemed so real.
A Caring Bridge site was set up where Taylor journaled about her daily battles with illness.
A YouCaring site, set up by her mother where friends and family donated and left messages of support.
"There is an account we know collected over $21,000," said Schmidt.
Then there was an article in the Chillicothe Gazette. It's what sparked doubt. Police got a tip right after that Taylor's story may not add up.
"We were able to get all of her medical, extensive medical records, that definitively show that she has never been diagnosed with cancer, has never been on chemotherapy and apparently doesn't have any of the multiple ailments that she was claiming," said Schmidt.
Schmidt says he's still trying to figure out how much money was raised, where it was spent and the why behind all of this.
The former athletic director is a mother and a wife, with no criminal background.
"She's charged with grand theft, fourth degree felony," said Schmidt.
She's now facing felony charges and Schmidt thinks she fooled everyone.
"I anticipate that those close to her are going to be very upset and very surprised," said Schmidt.
Schmidt says Taylor has admitted to police she does not have cancer but hasn't admitted to making everything up.
She is in jail and will be arraigned Monday.
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