Fake parents tricked loved ones into forking out for the birth and funeral costs of their newborn - who turned out to be a doll.
Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang, the scheming US couple, staged a pregnancy - and even posted an online obituary to their baby, Easton, who never existed.
In it, they claimed that they had been "blessed" by Easton for "a little over five hours before he went to his heavenly home," Fox News reports .
Their lies were exposed when a suspecting friend called the funeral home Easton was supposed to be cremated, only to be told that there was no record of the phoney tot.
Kaycee posted regular updates on her expanding 'baby bump' to her Facebook page, as she began to methodically manipulate her friends and family.
Her pals threw a baby shower for her in May - before Kaycee disappeared from view for the last two months of her ‘pregnancy’, claiming that she needed to rest in bed.
The Langs, from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, announced that Easton had been born on July 3, police said.
It was reported that Easton was born at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital, weighing 7lb 2oz, and that before 'dying', he "experienced holding hands and hugs and kisses with his mommy and daddy."
Photos of the newborn which was circulated online turned out to be images of a hyper-realistic doll instead.
A GoFundMe page was soon set up for the deceased infant, in order to raise money for his funeral.
The page read: "Please keep my wife and I in your thoughts and prayer.
"Our son Easton was born with fluid in his lungs and passed away a few hours after he was born.
"We would greatly appreciate if as many of you guys could share this and if u are stable enough to do so is donate also to help pay for the funeral expenses and medical bills."
A total of about £450, or $550, was raised from 15 donations.
The Langs then held a memorial service, and attendees were told that little Easton had been cremated.
They were rumbled when their friend, Cynthia Dilascio, noticed the couple's story did not add up.
She later told local news station WTAE that she did not understand how Easton could have died from "respiratory distress syndrome" just hours after being released from the hospital.
She said: “The baby had fluid in his lungs, but [the hospital] gave him back to her and said he’ll be fine.
“I knew this was fake. I couldn’t go and sit and watch this go on.”
She discovered that the local funeral home had no records of an Easton Lang, prompting her to go to Pennsylvania State Police.
It later emerged that the hospital had no record of his birth, nor did the coroner's office record his death.
Police officers told reporters that the Langs pulled off the scam to trick their loved ones out of money.
“We will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during their investigation and we will issue full refunds to all donors.
“We have zero tolerance policy for any misuse on the platform.
“All donors are full protected by the GoFundMe guarantee, which means donors are protected by a comprehensive refund policy if misuse occurs. This campaign received 15 donations totalling $550.”
Geoffrey and Kaycee have been charged with fraud and theft by deception.
They are due to appear in court in October.
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