A US couple have been accused of scamming their friends and family by staging a pregnancy and then faking the death of their “baby”.
For months Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang from Pennsylvania in the US pretended to be pregnant, even going as far as posting regular updates on Kaycee’s expanding baby bump to her Facebook page, Mirror UK reports.
In May a baby shower was held for their future child – named Easton Lang – with close friends showering the couple with gifts outlined in an online baby registry, honey.nine reports.
On 3 July the couple announced the birth of their son Easton, even sharing a photo of the newborn. A few hours later they claimed he’d passed away, Sun UK reports.
Geoffrey and Kaycee posted an obituary on The Tribune-Democrat, writing that before his death the little boy "experienced holding hands and hugs and kisses with his mommy and daddy before being told an uncountable number of times 'I love you'.”
A GoFundMe page was soon set up in order to raise money for his funeral.
"Please keep my wife and I in your thoughts and prayer,” Geoffrey wrote.
"Our son Easton was born with fluid in his lungs and passed away a few hours after he was born.
"We would greatly appreciate if as many of you guys could share this and if you are stable enough to do so is donate also to help pay for the funeral expenses and medical bills."
The couple received $550 (about R8 525) in donations and held a memorial service, where attendees were told that Easton had been cremated.
However, Cynthia Dilascio, a close friend of the couple, wasn’t buying it.
Cynthia said she became suspicious when the couple’s story about how Easton had died didn’t add up.
She discovered that there were no records of the baby at the funeral parlour and authorities couldn’t find a hospital record for the baby’s birth either.
Officials found that the photos of baby Easton that were posted to the couple’s Facebook page were actually of a doll.
Police are investigating the matter and the couple have been charged with fraud and theft.