Steamboat woman fakes cancer, shaves head to collect charity money

CNN
Monday, May 13, 2013 - 9:55am

Steamboat Springs, CO (KDVR) -- A town of about 12,000 was shocked to find that the woman they had been helping raise money through fundraisers had faked having cancer the entire time.

Elizabeth Bateman was arrested after the truth was discovered, and friends say that she has likely made bond and is expected to run.

Over the past year, Bateman's friend Michelle Beck watched as her sickness worsened and her hair began to fall out. Beck even moved Bateman into her home, and helped out with fundraisers at restaurants to collect money for treatment.

Bateman told Beck that she even started a charity called Colorado Friends Through the Fight.

However, police believe Bateman deposited between $7,000-$15,000 of other people's money before her lie unraveled.

The truth was finally revealed at Yampa Valley medical center in March. Bateman called Beck and told her she was vomiting blood. When doctors saw her, they told her they had no record of a cancer diagnosis.

Bateman ran from the hospital and according to court documents, a day later she posted on her Facebook page that the whole thing was a lie.

Police said she shaved her head to fake chemo, and the charity was a fraud, and they believe she may have committed the same crime in Texas.

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