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Police: Woman profited from bogus cancer claims

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 12:56 p.m. CST

EDWARDSVILLE — A southwestern Illinois woman is jailed after being accused of collecting donations on the bogus pretense that she and her son had cancer.

Prosecutors in Madison County charged 25-year-old Melissa Barton of Troy with felony theft by deception.

Troy police say Barton was arrested Wednesday after an investigation that began in June, when investigators say they learned Barton was telling people she had cancer and her son had leukemia.

Police say Barton was asking for and receiving cash donations from individuals and various religious organizations. Some of the donations also allegedly were collected through online sites.

Barton was jailed Thursday in Edwardsville on $50,000 bond.

Online court records don't show whether she has an attorney. She does not have a listed home telephone number.

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