CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield Police say they have arrested a woman who tricked several of her former coworkers to believe her daughter had a serious illness. The suspect is accused of defrauding the victims out of several thousands of dollars in donations.
Katie H. Patterson, 26, faces three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Police say she told three of her coworkers that her 4-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Patterson allegedly accepted more than $2,000 in donations from the victims.
Patterson was released on bond from the Chesterfield County Jail.
She didn't have any comment when NBC12 approached her Friday morning about charges she lied to her former co-workers.
Police say the 26-year-old told them her 4-year-old daughter was dying of leukemia.
"As the days, weeks, months went along, Ms. Patterson began to ask her coworkers for money to help with doctor visits, co-pays and medications and food and things like that," said Captain Brad Badgerow with the Chesterfield County Police Department.
Police got the call this week, but say the cases dates back to September.
At the time, Patterson was working as bus driver for Chesterfield County Public Schools. Police say she targeted her fellow drivers.
"They gave quite a bit of money to help Ms. Patterson," explained Captain Badgerow.
Investigators say more than $2,000.
But, they say the story started to unravel when a friend of one of the alleged victim's saw Patterson's daughter in public.
"Since she was familiar with what was reported she knew the little girl should be very sick and ill. She didn't look that way, she looked pretty healthy, so she started to get suspicious," he said.
Police say when confronted- Patterson admitted daughter wasn't sick at all.
"Ms. Patterson readily admitted she made everything up and that she was in financial difficulties and once she told that initial lie, it snowballed," explained Captain Badgerow.
Police say Patterson quit her job at the beginning of January in hopes of making this all go away.
At this point, police tell me only 3-alleged victims have come forward.
Investigators say there may be more, police say if think you've been defrauded by Patterson give them a call at 748-1251.
Katie Patterson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 5th.