Cancer scam woman found dead after theft by fraud charge filed

By Calvin Palmer

An Idaho woman who organized a cancer donation scam that brought in thousands of dollars and gifts from celebrities has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

Melissa Ann Rice, 24, of Ammon, Idaho, apparently committed suicide days after a charge of grand theft by fraud was filed against her.

Her body was found on Wednesday in her car.

Bonneville County police Sgt Doug Metcalf said that Rice conned several national cancer foundations into donating thousands of dollars and gifts by pretending to be a 15-year-old boy with brain cancer.

She used the name Jonathan Jay White.

Donations included a skateboard autographed by Tony Hawk and a guitar autographed by Kenny Chesney.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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