HARRISON COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – Since the arrest of Teryn Applegate, the Harrison County Sheriff's Office says numerous people have come forward to say they donated to the mother believed to be dying from a cancerous brain tumor.
Lt. Nick Smith said the investigation is ongoing, so it's not clear how much money was donated, but he said it will be in the thousands.
Applegate, 27, was arrested on Friday on theft charges.
According to Harrison County Police, Applegate told the community and her family, including her three children, she had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and that doctors had given her six months to live.
Fundraisers were held within the community to raise money for Applegate's medical and burial expenses.
One of the biggest fundraisers was held at the VFW in Charlestown. A veteran officer there he was shocked and disappointed to learn of Applegate's arrest. He said the VFW donated their building to help her and said it was a good turnout.
Rhonda Smith organized the fundraiser at the VFW and lined up bands to play at the benefit and dance. She said she is embarrassed and feels gullible that she fell for Applegate's story.
Investigators said after receiving an anonymous tip they began to investigate Applegate's claims. Officers uncovered medical records confirming she had never been diagnosed with brain tumors or any form of cancer.
Applegate told detectives she had received donations from several members of the Harrison County community, including a church.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who donated money to Applegate to call them at (812) 738-2195.
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