Parents of special needs child almost victim of scam - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Parents of special needs child almost victim of scam

Jerrica Stone was turned into a princess for a day thanks to Cochran Elementary School. Jerrica Stone was turned into a princess for a day thanks to Cochran Elementary School.
Mike and Barbara McClaren Mike and Barbara McClaren
Jerrica Stone with her mother Jerrica Stone with her mother
Addilynn Roberts Addilynn Roberts

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The crimes are unthinkable, thieves reaching out to family's in need pretending they want to help but instead it's just a scam. One family is counting their blessings after almost walking into what they considered a trap.

After Jerrica Stone was turned into a princess for a day thanks to Cochran Elementary School, her inspirational story went national.   

[PREVIOUS STORY: Terminally ill kindergartner whisked away in horse drawn carriage]

Soon her parents, Mike and Barbara McClaren, were hearing from people from all over the country wanting to help.

"It was incredible the support and the emails we got," said McClaren. "People came and randomly left gifts at the school for Jerrica."

Jerrica won the hearts of many after her school was able to showcase just how much this little girl means to them.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Country music star to perform, raise money for young cancer patient caught up in scam]

Born with an unspecified mitochondrial disease and Moebius Syndrome Jerrica can't walk or talk, but her mind is strong and she uses sign language to communicate. Doctors didn't expect the kindergartner to live to 5 years old and in May she will turn 6.

Her family has had many struggles along the way dealing with the financial strain. Their handicapped van remains broken. When the McClarens got a call from a lady out in LA, so touched by Jerrica's story she wanted to help, it meant a lot.

"It sounded like a fabulous offer and she sounded very sincere," said McClaren.

A local band was even signed on, but right before the benefit was scheduled to take place. Things just weren't adding up.

"Ultimately we were able to just catch her in multiple lies to different people," said McClaren.

The McClarens were able to cancel the fundraiser and fortunately no money was exchanged.

"For somebody to seem like they are going to help you, especially when there's so much going on with a special needs child like Jerrica and then to have her turn around and turn out to be using it all for herself that's a special kind of evil," said McClaren.

Not everyone is as lucky to catch a crime before it happens. Not long after Ben and Angela Roberts of Elizabethtown found out their daughter Addilynn was diagnosed with Leukemia, a high school acquaintance offered to help raise money claiming to have connections to a country star. Instead police said he pocked $9,000 of the raised funds.

"Be skeptical, ask questions," said Mike McClaren.

On Sunday, March 23 the PBR Bar at 4th Street Live! is hosting a benefit concert for Jerrica. Local bands will play and there will be a silent auction. Tickets are $5.

The McClarens say they will use to money to fix their van and put it towards a surgery Jerrica is scheduled to have next month. For more information, click here. 

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Jeff Davis student arrested on terrorizing charges

    Jeff Davis student arrested on terrorizing charges

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:40 PM EST2018-02-22 22:40:17 GMT
    Christopher Simon Marshall (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)Christopher Simon Marshall (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)

    A Jeff Davis Parish student is facing terrorizing charges after being arrested Thursday.  The Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office was notified by the Jeff Davis Parish School Board about a student making shooting threats to a local high school. Upon investigation, deputies learned that Christopher Simon Marshall, 17, of Jennings allegedly made threats to Hathaway High school. Marshall sent Snapchats to students warning them not to attend school Thursday and also made a statemen...

    More >>

    A Jeff Davis Parish student is facing terrorizing charges after being arrested Thursday.  The Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office was notified by the Jeff Davis Parish School Board about a student making shooting threats to a local high school. Upon investigation, deputies learned that Christopher Simon Marshall, 17, of Jennings allegedly made threats to Hathaway High school. Marshall sent Snapchats to students warning them not to attend school Thursday and also made a statemen...

    More >>
  • Dr. Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes' knee surgery

    Dr. Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes' knee surgery

    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:38 PM EST2018-02-22 19:38:57 GMT
    Dr. Nathan Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes's knee surgery. (Source: KPLC)Dr. Nathan Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes's knee surgery. (Source: KPLC)
    Dr. Nathan Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes's knee surgery. (Source: KPLC)Dr. Nathan Cohen visits 7News at Noon to discuss Agnes's knee surgery. (Source: KPLC)
    As many KPLC viewers may know, I was out for three months for major knee surgery. After years of intense knee pain, I decided with my doctor that a complete knee replacement was in order. Last November, local orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nathan Cohen performed the procedure and ever since, he and I have been bombarded with questions like “how do you know that you have to have this done,” or “what can I expect,” and “Agnes, was it worthwhile?” Toda...More >>
    As many KPLC viewers may know, I was out for three months for major knee surgery. After years of intense knee pain, I decided with my doctor that a complete knee replacement was in order. Last November, local orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nathan Cohen performed the procedure and ever since, he and I have been bombarded with questions like “how do you know that you have to have this done,” or “what can I expect,” and “Agnes, was it worthwhile?” Toda...More >>
  • Report: Louisiana 3rd highest in nation for gun-related deaths

    Report: Louisiana 3rd highest in nation for gun-related deaths

    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:30 PM EST2018-02-22 19:30:37 GMT
    (Source APSO)(Source APSO)

    Louisiana ranks third in the nation for the most gun related deaths in the U.S. According to Violence Policy Center, gun rate deaths have jumped 17 percent since 2008. Louisiana ranks third only after Alaska and Alabama.  VPC says, states with the lowest overall gun death rates had lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. With nearly half of households using guns, Louisiana only falls short of Alabama by ....

    More >>

    Louisiana ranks third in the nation for the most gun related deaths in the U.S. According to Violence Policy Center, gun rate deaths have jumped 17 percent since 2008. Louisiana ranks third only after Alaska and Alabama.  VPC says, states with the lowest overall gun death rates had lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. With nearly half of households using guns, Louisiana only falls short of Alabama by ....

    More >>
Powered by Frankly