BRAXTON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For months now, countless people across the area have not only been praying, but also paying for Kendal Jones. Jones is a young mother from Braxton County who police say lied about having cancer to get money.|
"It's pathetic," Sutton Police Chief Aaron James said. "This is probably the lowest type of crime that you can commit."
Chief James says Jones used social media to befriend people, including complete strangers, often telling them she only had a few years to live.
"She would go through her friends list and then requesting friends of her friends just in order to give this sad story to with the hopes that they would feel sorry enough for her to give her money," Chief James said.
Investigators say Jones was also able to get money from several fundraisers, and would often use her two children as pawns in this scheme. They say she even received gift cards and gas cards from local churches, and would then turn around and try to sell the cards for cash.
"She was telling them she had gas cards that a church had given her," James said. "She wanted to sell the gas cards. She had $100 gas card that she wanted to sell for $75 in order to have a party that weekend."
"Someone set a GoFundMe page up for her, obviously because she told them she had cancer," James said. "She would find people to text and ask them for money. She told them her kids didn't have enough food to eat, and they were hungry and she needed money to buy her kids food, and diapers and formula."
Police say Jones went to extreme lengths to fool people, often wearing wigs, and even duped her own best friend into shaving her head in support.
"It's horrible to say the least," James said. "Most everybody knows someone who's been touched by cancer. So, to go out and actually claim to have cancer in order to gain financially, it's appalling."
Jones admitted she didn't have cancer to police this week.
"She just said it kind of happened," James said. "She didn't have any other excuse other than it just happened, and once she started getting money, she just went with it."
Police are still investigating but they believe Jones was able to get at least $1,500. She's now been charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses, obstructing a police officer and delivery of a controlled substance. Chief Jones says during his interview of Jones, she admitted selling Klonopin.
Many of the charges against Jones carry at least one to three years in jail. She's now being held in the Central Regional Jail on $25,500 cash-only bond. Police say more arrests could be made in connection with this investigation.