A Cedartown woman faces a charge of felony theft by deception after police determined she falsely claimed to have terminal cancer in order to get donations from people.
According to the Polk County Police Department:
Katie Lynn Shellhorse, 22, was arrested on May 18 at her residence without incident after an investigation revealed she received close to $15,000 in donations by citizens of the community, several churches and several fundraising efforts.
An initial complainant contacted police and told them they felt Shellhorse’s story didn’t add up after hearing several statements made by Shellhorse about her diagnosis that were suspicious in nature.
A month-long investigation by Polk County Police detectives revealed that Shellhorse did not have terminal cancer, and she had received several donations over approximately a year of portraying herself as having cancer.
Detectives are still working to determine the exact amount of money that Shellhorse obtained through the ruse. She regularly shaved her head to portray the effects of cancer treatment that she never received.
Anyone who donated to Shellhorse that has not already been contacted by detectives are encouraged to contact Detective Caleb Bowman at 678-246-5107. Police encourage reporting parties to only contact law enforcement if they have documented proof of their donation.
Shellhorse was released from Polk County Jail on Wednesday afternoon on $1,000 bond.