ATLANTIC, Iowa (KMTV) – Formal charges have been filed against a mother who police say claimed her daughter was suffering from terminal cancer for money.
Leatha Slauson, 30, claimed her 5-year-old daughter, Riley, was dying from colorectal cancer.
“We opened our hearts, and our wallets to them to help them out. That’s what we do. We look after each other,” said Atlantic Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark McNees.
After learning about Riley’s ‘fight with cancer,’ the fire department raised more than $1,500 for the Slauson family.
The community raised thousands more than that.
Investigators say they are still waiting on bank records to determine how much money Slauson may have pocketed.
Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner says it looks like the community donated between $10,000 and $30,000.
Police say Leatha Slauson was arrested and is facing 19 charges, including child endangerment, assault and possession of illegal substances.
Court documents show Slauson is accused of inserting a feeding tube through Riley’s nose and into her stomach to administer cannabis oil and injected the drug Neupogen without any medical advice.
According to WHO, Neupogen helps your body make white blood cells and is used during chemotherapy.
Doctors say it can cause muscle and join pain, cramping, stiffness and bodily injury.
“It’s just heartbreaking to think that a mother could do that to her own child,” said Kathy Kerns.
If convicted of the charges, she could serve up to 67 years in prison.