A beauty queen from central Pennsylvania has been accused of faking cancer and taking the money raised in fundraisers.
Brandy Weaver-Gates, 23, of Pleasant Gap, Pa., was charged with fraud in the case after an anonymous informant tipped off Pennsylvania State Police.
In a news release, police said Weaver-Gates began telling people she had chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2013. She allegedly went so far as to produce forged bills from Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
Her family drove her to hospitals where she would allegedly wait inside and pretend to get treatments, NBC10 reported.
Weaver-Gates won the title of Miss Pennsylvania International — one of many beauty pagents. It is not to be confused with the pageant circuit that sends contestants to the Miss USA and Miss Universe events. Miss Pennsylvania International contestants compete to become Miss USA International.
Butler's Beauties, organizers of the Miss Pennsylvania International, stripped Weaver-Gates of her tiara and issued a statement saying they too were fooled.
"We were also led to believe that she was dealing with this horrible disease and stood by her as she struggled being a beauty queen and a cancer patient," the company said.
The reaction on Weaver-Gates' Facebook page has been swift — with some commentors noting that Weaver-Gates may have deleted photos showing she had cancer.
"Go to Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation and read the stories of 200 children who have / had / or have lost their battle with cancer," wrote . My son is #9. These children are beautiful, brave and heroic . You are worthless and despicable," wrote Facebook poster Kristin Rovito Crunick.
State police say that the community held many fundraisers to benefit Weaver-Gates. They are asking anyone who donated money to contact them.