The Poteau Police Department arrested Arianna Noelle Gregg, 46, of Poteau on an outstanding child abuse warrant on Tuesday. A press release by Poteau Assistant Police Chief Greg Russell said additional charges are pending.
On Friday, the Poteau P.D. was contacted by a female resident in reference to her wife, Gregg, and the 6-year-old male under Gregg’s guardianship.
The reporting party stated that Gregg and the boy left Poteau on May 25 to go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., for the boy’s cancer treatment.
The reporting party stated that she had learned Gregg and the boy were not at St. Jude. Gregg had made false claims about the boy’s cancer, and they were both in Saginaw, Mich., with an online acquaintance of Gregg’s.
Poteau P.D. investigators, working in conjunction with LeFlore County Department of Human Services Child Welfare, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Federal Bureau of Investigations were able to locate Gregg and the boy in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The boy was taken into protective custody by Indiana child welfare authorities. Gregg was released at that time by Indiana authorities due to the fact a warrant was not issued yet.
During the course of the investigation it was learned that Gregg had used various online and social media platforms to solicit donations under the guise of funding the boy’s treatment expenses.
Poteau P.D. urges the public to cease any further donation to associated accounts due to the fraudulent nature of the claims.
Anyone that had previously donated to these accounts can call Det. Sgt. Dustin McKinney at (918) 647-8620 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.