Couple accused of making up child's brain cancer for financial gain

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Fort Walton Beach couple is facing charges after deputies say they told people a child had terminal brain cancer and got money for it, but the child never had cancer.

According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, a 13-year-old child spent the last eight months believing he was going to die from brain cancer, but investigators say his medical record prove no brain tumors exist.

Deputies arrested Ginny and Robert Long, 34 and 47, on one count of child abuse and nine counts of fraud.

Investigators say the pair set up a t-shirt fundraiser for the boy at his school last year. They say the couple as wrote about the fake tumors on their Facebook pages as well. Investigators say on December 28th, Ginny Long posted on her Facebook page it was a miracle the boy lived three days past Christmas and the only person that knows when he's supposed to go is God.

Investigators say the victim looked in good health in the photos posted.

Investigators say the victim told them Ginny Long had told him he was going to die due to brain cancer in May 2017. He told them it scared him and he didn't like to talk about it. He told investigators the couple made a GoFundMe account on his behalf.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office began investigating in November after suspicions arose within the School Resource Officer program that the couple was exploiting the victim for money by saying the child was dying from brain cancer.

The couple was arrested Thursday at their home on Scottwood Drive.