Updated story. More information on this story was gathered Friday afternoon, and the original story from Friday morning has been expanded.
REXBURG - Two women who spent some time allegedly conning people out of money to cover the cost of a funeral that never was, were stopped from doing so in Rexburg on Thursday.
The pair waved a sign asking for help at Pioneer and Main where at least one resident had given them some money. Officers later made contact with the two women and started asking them questions, said Rexburg Police Captain Randy Lewis.
“We were talking with them and making sure everything was going OK. They couldn't come up with the right answers. They wanted money for the funeral, and they didn't know the last name of the person (who died). Finally, they admitted they'd been traveling from California scamming people that way collecting money,” Lewis said.
Officers reported that Michele Love, of California, and Chasity Doll, of North Dakota, had been holding up the sign asking for help in defraying the funeral costs of a young woman who supposedly died earlier this month.
“Donations for funeral. Stephanie Marie Daniels, April 16, 1995-July 9, 2018. RIP beloved sister. Please help. Thank you. God Bless,” reads the sign.
The women were later charged with theft under false pretenses, reported police.
Lewis didn't know how much money the women received while in Rexburg. He wasn't sure how much money people had given the pair after they left California and arrived here.
“It's pretty profitable and especially in this community,” Lewis said.
During the investigation, officers discovered that Love had also illegally obtained Hydrocodone, a Schedule II narcotic.
"She didn't have a prescription for it," he said.
Police charged Love with felony controlled substance possession as well as a misdemeanor for theft by pretense. Doll was also cited for misdemeanor theft by pretense.
Officers arrested the two women and took them to the Madison County Jail. The defendants faced a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon.
As more information becomes available, the Standard Journal will update this story.