Woman Fakes Pregnancy and Infant Death Using Deceased Child's Photos Stolen from Facebook

A North Carolina charity had the tough job of notifying a grieving mom in North Dakota that her deceased daughter's identity was stolen by a woman on Facebook.

Jan 15, 2016, 10:46 ET from CHERUBS

MINOT, N.D., Jan. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Our charity recently learned of the misrepresentation and misuse of photographs of a baby Cherub gone home, as has been reported in the January 13, 2016 post to The Young and the Married blog. In short, a person downloaded photographs of another family's CDH child and used them to create the false impression that she was herself the child's mother. She used this misimpression as a basis for making contacts with many people in the CDH community and to join our charity. She did not obtain the misappropriated photographs from CHERUBS, on its behalf, or through its electronic media, websites, or files. Rather, the wrongdoer apparently downloaded the photographs from publicly available social media sites that are not maintained by the charity.

The misappropriation, misuse, and related misrepresentations concerning these photographs were wrongful and despicable. We have expelled the offender from the charity, and we hope that the appropriate authorities will take action to serve the interests of justice.

More importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with surviving family members who had their child's photographs taken and misused. Many of us know the heartache and devastation that CDH can cause. The horrible conduct of a third party bad actor has reopened a wound for these members of the CHERUBS extended family. We ask everyone, including our members and volunteers, to pray for them and to provide them with your moral support.

CHERUBS also respectfully reminds its volunteers and members, as well as all members of the fight against CDH, to exercise caution in engaging others on social media. Remember that you do not have to accept every friend request, particularly not if something seems suspicious. And if you notice something unusual, please report it. We do not know whether this particular incident could have been prevented, but we want to prevent its recurrence.

Our organization represents the best in people: love acceptance and a desire to help others through very painful experiences in their lives. But our own painful experiences and our desire to help others may sometimes make our community a target of predators who would profit from our grief. Being vigilant, however, does not mean letting bad people fundamentally change us. Please do not let this isolated incident deter you from the wonderful work you have been doing and continue to do. There are many legitimate CDH victims out there who need our help, and our mission continues to be to help all of them the best we can. Go out and do good today – the world sure needs it.

Media contact:
Dawn Torrence