PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More local families are coming forward with stories that they have been targeted by a woman who claims she is terminally ill.
The Yoney family reached out to KDKA last week after they say they were scammed by the woman who also says she has a daughter that needs to be adopted. The Yoney’s daughter, Morgan, is in desperate need of a double lung transplant herself.
The woman’s story turned out to be a lie, and the Yoney’s weren’t the first to hear it.
Since their story aired, KDKA has received multiple calls from other people who claim they’ve been targeted by the same person. There are several claims the woman targeted dozens of people.
“She’s done this to so many people. If she can’t get criminally charged with anything, I want to force her to get help,” Jayna Cunningham says.
Cunningham said she lived with the same woman who targeted the Yoney family and had a similar experience.
“First, it was a diagnosis of MS, and then it was a week later, diagnosis of this brain tumor,” Cunningham said. “My mom would come down and drive three hours, help take care of her. Like the Yoneys, we’d be up till the wee hours in the morning. I’ve got to work in the morning.”
Janet Mrzlack says she met the same woman through work at Bruegger’s on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill three years ago. Mrzlack says the woman told her that her father had cancer.
Mrzlack: “We collected money amongst us to give to her.”
KDKA’s Amy Wadas: How much do you think you collected?”
Mrzlack: “Probably between the 10 of us $150 to $200.”
Wadas: “Did she accept it?”
Mrzlack: “She did.”
Mryzlack says the woman also claimed her mother’s boyfriend was raping her, so Mrzlack took her in for a month and a half.
“After her staying here for a while, it was just things weren’t adding up. She started shying away from me and started with other managers,” Mryzlack said.
The same woman was also found on the Pirates Community Twitter page with Clint Hurdle back on Aug. 22. The Pirates spokesperson confirms that this is the same woman that targeted the Yoney family. They say someone called the organization requesting her be a special guest on the field.
Multiple people, including the Yoney family, say the young woman currently works at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas reached out to UPMC and they issued this statement:
“Any allegations of this nature are taken very seriously by UPMC and if our investigation reveals any employee improprieties, we will take appropriate action.”
Allegheny County Police said the investigation involving the Yoney family has been closed. They said the district attorney’s office found no reason to file charges unless there’s evidence to prove that she fabricated these stories for financial benefit.
We reached out to the young woman’s family about these accusations and they have no comment at this time.