An Illinois mother was arrested on felony charges for allegedly pretending that she had terminal cancer and raising money from the community for her cause.
Alissa Jackson, a 31-year-old from Belleville, Illinois, is accused of lying about having stage four ovarian cancer for two years. During this time at least $30,000 was donated to help her, but that’s not the worst part.
“Her kids believed her story, which is the unfortunate and tragic part of this case. Her kids are victims of this in my mind,” Belleville Police Sgt. Mark Heffernan told KSDK-TV of the woman’s five children, saying her actions were “pure evil.”
“The deepest form of being a lowlife in my eyes to fake a disease like cancer that so many people fight and lose it’s just, it’s [inconceivable] that someone could do it,” Pam Bruce, the manager of JR’s Last Call bar, which held an event for Jackson in May, told the news station.
“That somebody could lie and her kids knew, thought every day that she was dying, that, I just don’t see how somebody could do that,” Bruce added later.
What’s more, Jackson’s survival was also being used to help motivate other people in the community.
Patricia Allsup, whose twin sister, Chris, was suffering from breast cancer, told the Belleville News-Democrat that she thought Jackson “was the perfect person to motivate and cheer Chris up because here you have Alissa who has stage four cancer and she is still around.”
Allsup’s sister, who the newspaper reported became friends with Jackson, died in January at 41 years old before learning of these recent accusations.
Watch KDSK-TV’s report about the case:
Police were alerted to the alleged hoax by an anonymous tipster, and after conducting their own investigation, determined that Jackson was not a cancer patient.
“We made the choice that was right for us, and it wasn’t out of anything malicious,” the tipster told KSDK about why they came forward to the police. “We did what we thought was right at the time, and what we thought we needed to do. And above all else, we did what we thought was best for her kids.”
Jackson was charged on two felony counts for theft by deception and held on $100,000 bond. Police are continuing an investigation to see if anyone else was involved.
Even though she was among those who were duped, Allsup wrote on Facebook after the news broke, “Please continue to believe and trust in others! There is good in all of us.”
(H/T: New York Daily News)