CREATED Sep. 9, 2013
Mesquite, NV (KTNV) -- The Mesquite Police Department is investigating a woman who allegedly scammed the community by claiming her son had cancer.
On Friday, detectives concluded a lengthy investigation, resulting in the arrest of 36-year-old Shawnanna Starr Flores of Mesquite.
Earlier in the week, detectives received information that Flores was falsely representing her 7-year-old son as having a malignant liver cancer, known as Hepatoblastoma.
Mesquite's Georgina Vargas said she's a former friend of Flores'. She also claims Flores used to work with her at the Rebel gas station.
Vargas said Flores broke the news about her son's alleged sickness roughly a month ago, "She just started crying and I believed her because she was supposed to be my friend so I thought that she wouldn't lie to me."
Vargas said the allegations are out of character for Flores, "She was a nice, friendly person. I had never seen anything weird or out of the ordinary."
A benefit car wash for Flores' boy was held on Aug. 24 at a Rebel gas station, where many community members donated time and supplies in an effort that raised more than $400.
A fund was established at Wells Fargo Bank and money jars were placed in businesses around Mesquite. There were also future benefit fundraisers scheduled within the community to assist the child.
Flores has been charged with felony fraud, obtaining money under false pretenses, felony child abuse and felony theft.
The Clark County Child Protective Services worked in cooperation with the Mesquite Police Department during this investigation. Additionally, CPS is continuing its own investigation into the fraudulent scheme involving the child.
If anyone has further information or may have donated money to the "Rodrigo Cancer Fund," they are being urged to call Mesquite Detective Ron Richmond at (702) 346-5262 ext. 6032.