MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Handcuffed and hanging her head, Carol Schnuphase was lead into court to face charges of child abuse and fraud. She's accused of convincing her son he was dying from leukemia and scamming sympathetic people out of at least $7,500.
According to police, the 47-year-old Roseville mother told her 12-year-old son, Christopher, he had leukemia, shaved his head and eyebrows, drugged his applesauce and then held fundraisers at church to profit from it, according to police.
Investigators say Schnuphase accepted donations raised for her son at Saint Thomas Church in Eastpointe where she is a member. Police say she also went so far as to post Facebook entries describing how brave her son was in the face of his ‘illness.’ In one post Schnuphase wrote that her son “knows he is dying.”
In court, family members said, "We haven't seen him since June when she told us he had died...we are devastated.”
Schnuphase’s son has been removed from her home and put into foster care. He knows nothing of the charges and has only been told he's cancer free.
The attorney for Schnuphase argued unsuccessfully for personal bond. In fact, the judge doubled the prosecutor’s request for $50,000 cash or surety.
Prosecutor Eric Smith says Schnuphase cannot be charged with giving her son the drugs that made him look and feel sick until toxicology results are in.
Family members went to police initially because they thought Christopher was in good health and not sick at all and that's when police started to investigate.
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