A US mother is asking police to find a woman who she claims scammed her dying son in an effort to get closer to the family's reality TV star friend.
Tiffany Doty's 20-year-old son Thomas was diagnosed with bone cancer three years ago and died on December 19, just a week after his birthday.
Five months before his death, Deadliest Catch star Johnathan Hillstrand made a video appealing for donations to help the family and posted it online.
Ms Doty claims soon after, the family strung along by a woman who said her name was Jonnica Ellis and claimed she wanted to donate $250,000.
"She went to extreme measures to convince us that her offer to help us was legitimate, however, it cost Thomas eight weeks of lost time in terms of receiving any medical attention," Ms Doty wrote on her blog HealThomas.
Ms Doty said the woman sent emails, forged bank statements and cashier's cheques as well as making phone calls and text messages promising "the cheque was in the mail".
"We finally realised Jonnica Ellis was just a crazed fan of our friend, Johnathan Hillstrand, from the Deadliest Catch TV series and that Ms Ellis, after seeing Johnathan's video asking his fans to help raise funds for Thomas, began using Thomas’ story in a sad attempt to get Johnathan’s attention by making an impression upon him," she said.
Ms Doty said her son was crushed when he found out the money would not come.
"I honestly 100 percent believe my son would be here if that time has not been wasted," Ms Doty told Komo News.
Authorities are now investigating the case.