(SPEEDWAY) - A Speedway man who said he was battling cancer may soon have a legal battle on his hands.
Jonathan Fox Sr. told hundreds of people about his diagnosis and even held a fundraiser to pay his medical bills. But now investigators say he made the whole story up and kept the money.
When State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) was asked to help a single father of four with terminal cancer, her heart and wallet reached out.
"Of course, without a doubt, I didn't even hesitate," Macer said.
She provided Christmas for the children, contacted the American Cancer Society for a fundraiser and, over several months, gave Fox $1,800 for rent and bills.
But last month, a Facebook post with Fox's picture raised suspicion. His head was shaven, but not his beard.
"Unfortunately, just having a beautiful seven-year-old in my family last week die from leukemia, you know, when people are dying from cancer, terminal cancer, they lose all their hair," Macer said.
She contacted Speedway Police to investigate and they quickly discovered Fox was faking the deadly illness. He'd had a medical procedure four years ago at Wishard, but since then, they say he wasn't sick at all.
"He admitted that he did not have cancer," said Speedway Police Sgt. Jim Thiele.
In fact, prosecutors allege the 36-year-old preyed on many people's emotions to get cash for four years, asking for donations with his story of terminal cancer. He collected thousands of dollars, including at a fundraiser he organized himself at the Speedway Moose Lodge.
But police say the worst lie was to his children.
"It's also very difficult when you understand that this man also apparently told family members that he was suffering from this illness and they believed it as well," Thiele said.
Since he was charged with theft, Macer hasn't heard from Fox.
"No, I haven't, but he's certainly been in my prayers," she said.
So has his family, the victims she doesn't regret helping.
Fox is facing three counts of felony theft for allegedly faking cancer. Speedway Police say he is cooperating with them and plans to turn himself in to authorities on Wednesday.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org