Thomas Oliver Doty with
his mother, Tiffany Doty
Thomas Doty was dying of osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
Family friend Johnathan Hillstrand, a celebrity fisherman featured on the TV show "Deadliest Catch", made a plea for donations for the family in July.
That's when benefactor Jonnica Ellis, a friend of Mr. Hillstrand, sent the family a bouquet of yellow flowers and promised $250,000 to pay their medical bills.
The family was elated. Maybe there was hope for Thomas.
A few days later, Ms. Ellis said the money had been transferred, but would take a few days to clear.
But the bank intervened. They said the money would take a little longer to arrive, maybe seven to ten days.
And then there was another mixup, where an account number was wrong, and then an extra letter was accidently added to a name, and then the cancer treatment center was having problem accepting her donation.
Everything had to be perfect for such a large transaction.
It wasn't perfect for Ms. Ellis and her relationship with Mr. Hillstrand, either. So far, they had only met online, and when she tried to meet him at an Alaskan airport, things went badly for her multiple times and she missed her flights and did not get to meet him in person.
She was assaulted in an attempted rape.
Another time, she had an asthma attack.
Then there was her sister Monica, who committed suicide by shooting herself in front of her family.
And the car accident.
And the accidental overdose.
In December, five months after the plea for donations, Thomas Oliver Doty died.
Ms. Ellis was never going to meet Mr. Hillstrand, and she was never going to send any money.
That's because she is really Marci A. Rose, a 35-year-old woman with a history of theft and fraud.
She had been lying to everyone, and using other people's online photos and multiple online accounts to keep her lies going.
But in this case, since she hadn't asked anyone for money, it seems she had not broken any laws.
So as of February 2013, Ms. Rose had not been charged with any crimes.
Marci Rose was playing games.
Read more about the story, including how diligent online detective work by one woman uncovered the scam: Family says NNY woman lied to them as son was dying of cancer, Watertown Daily Times>>
- Stranger helping local family unravel heartbreaking hoax, Kome News>>
- A Tribute to Amber McIntosh: Woman. Mother. Psychopath Hunter Extraordinaire! Dechirementblog>>