Authorities in Ohio say a Cleveland woman is at the center of an investigation dating back more than a decade and packed with alarmingly brazen lies in an apparent attempt to elicit sympathy and cash.45-year-old Dawn Brown convinced multiple men to marry her based on false claims of pregnancy and cancer diagnoses.
A criminal probe has been launched in response to her most recent claims and a fundraiser she planned in an attempt to attract donations. As of reports earlier this month, she had not yet been charged and it was not immediately clear what, if any, laws were broken in her alleged scheme.
After several online fundraisers popped up late last year, however, Cleveland police indicate that investigators confirmed she was neither pregnant nor suffering from cancer at the time.
Her seventh husband, Kenneth Brown, has also been entangled in the scandal, which led to his resignation from the police department after 24 years during an investigation into whether he was aware of his wife’s alleged deception.
Investigators dug deeper by speaking to numerous ex-husbands and former in-laws, as well as poring over court and media reports. They say a clear pattern emerged in which Dawn Brown repeated similar lies.
Her third marriage, for example, ended amid allegations that she had lied about a pregnancy and even a warning to a local hospital that she might try to steal a newborn.
In the latest alleged scam, police say she posted at least two expected due dates — Dec. 15 and Jan. 22 — for her invented unborn child.
“The investigators are concerned that Brown could attempt to try and take a baby from the hospital,” the hospital note reads.
Jared Hoeh, her third husband, recalled the events from his marriage that seem to mirror current allegations.
He said there is “something messed up” about Brown, recalling that he met her on a singles phone chat line in 2001, shortly after moving to the Cleveland area.
“She just basically knew what to say, all the right things,” Hoeh said of their courtship. “She knew whatever guys (want) to hear.”
Police are soliciting tips from the public, specifically individuals who might have donated to an online fundraiser using the name “Chillin’ with Baby Pen.” Anyone with information is asked to contact a police tip line at 216-623-5346.
Comments in response to her post on Fight Like a Girl Club, a cancer support site abruptly turned from positive to condemnatory when accusations against her surfaced.
“She is a liar,” one commenter wrote. “You need to take this story down. It takes away from the true cancer fighters stories.”