FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – A Florida couple has been charged with child abuse after lying to their 13-year-old son and telling him he had terminal brain cancer so they could cash in on donations for medical treatment.
Despite being perfectly healthy, the Fort Walton Beach boy believed he was going to die for the last eight months.
Robert Long, 47, and his wife, 34-year-old Ginny Long, were arrested Thursday and also charged with nine counts of fraud after an investigation showed the couple had started a fundraiser at the boy's school.
The Long's also posted fake information on the cancer status of their son on Facebook. The pair also created a GoFundMe account on the boy's behalf.
"It was a miracle the boy had lived three days past Christmas and the only person that knows when he is supposed to go is God," Ginny Long posted to Facebook on Dec. 28.
The boy told Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office investigators that his mother told him in May that was going to die of brain cancer.
Law enforcement began investigating in November after an official at the boy's school believed the parents were exploiting their son for financial gain.