CANTON, OH (WJW) — A Canton woman charged with faking her daughter’s terminal illness and pandering thousands of dollars from the community was sentenced to prison on Thursday.
Lindsey Abbuhl was sentenced to four to six years in prison and was ordered to pay $8,529.90 in restitution to theft victims. She pleaded guilty to child endangering and theft.
Authorities say the mother faked the girl’s illness and even led her to believe she didn’t have much longer to live.
She raised money by playing on the sympathy of friends, residents and even local college sports teams, investigators say.
“Her doctors were concerned that the sport was a little bit too physical for her with her medical condition,” Abbuhl said in an interview in February 2021.
At the time, Abbuhl said her daughter’s dream of becoming a college and professional softball player would never become a reality because she was dying from a terminal medical condition.
“So we had to make the tough decision last year that she was going to walk away and not be able to play anymore,” she said during the interview.
***The video above is from a previous report***
Abbuhl garnered sympathy and donations, claiming her daughter’s central nervous system was failing and her brain was slowly shutting down.
However, according to court documents filed by the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services in May of 2021, the agency received information that the mother had been using the unsupported medical diagnosis, “to obtain trips, housing, and other expenses over the last several years.”
“After a thorough review of the girl’s medical records… The medical professional indicates there is no evidence to support mother’s claim that (the girl) is terminally ill,” court documents said.
The complaint continued by saying the girl had been, “engaged in counseling for the past three years to learn how to ‘process her own death.’”
Earlier that year, the Malone University softball team learned about the girl’s alleged condition and shared her story across the country. They invited her to throw out the first pitch at a scrimmage against Walsh University.
A GoFundMe page for the girl raised more than $4,000.
At the time, the girl was taken from the mother and was placed in temporary custody by the Stark County Department of Job and Family Service.
“Essentially, this plea was a way to bring closure to the several parties involved in this case,” said Stark County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle. L. Stone on Thursday. “This was also the best way to avoid the possibility of further traumatizing a child that has already been through so much.”