FORT WALTON BEACH, Florida — A heartless Florida couple have been charged with cruelly convincing their 13-year-old son that he was dying from brain cancer as part of a plot to get sympathetic friends and neighbors to give them cash, police said.
Ginny Irovando Long, 34, and her husband Robert Long, 47, spent eight months telling people their son had brain cancer in an effort to raise donations to help cover his medical expenses, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office said.
The boy told investigators his mother told him last May that he was going to die, which he said left him scared and unhappy talking about it.
Meanwhile, his parents set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds and organized a bogus T-shirt fundraiser at the child’s school, cops said.
Around Christmas, cops say Irovando Long told her friends on Facebook that it was a miracle that her son had lived through the holiday and that “the only person who knows when he is supposed to go is God.”
The plot began unraveling in November when officials at the boy’s school grew suspicious and began investigating. Police were eventually called as suspicions mounted.
The couple has been charged with one count of child abuse and nine counts of fraud.