Family of Ludlow woman says mental health issues led to fake baby, welfare fraud

“Help her... Don’t just lock her up somewhere.”
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:12 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - One day after Kenton County prosecutors detailed the case of a woman accused of using a fake baby to defraud the welfare system, the woman’s family says there’s much more to the story.

Authorities say Tammy Sizemore received around $13,000 in welfare benefits from claiming a baby that did not exist.

Their investigation revealed a strange pattern of lies, such as Tammy’s inability to spell her own daughter’s name.

“She truly has mental health issues,” Mary Sizemore, Tammy’s sister, said. “She definitely has the mentality of a third-grader.”

Mary says Tammy has been on social security disability for years. The family wasn’t aware things had gotten so bad, but Mary says she wasn’t surprised to learn of Tammy’s charges.

“She’s called me at least 50 times and told me that she was pregnant,” Mary said. “She’s 50 years old.”

Tammy’s family has tried to take care of her over the years, but it hasn’t been easy. Now they say gaps in the welfare system have contributed to the problem.

“I just feel like they’re using her as an example to just, ‘Well you know, we’re not going to tolerate this no more,’” Mary said of the authorities pursuing charges against Tammy.

“Well, what I’m not going to tolerate is for my sister to be treated like she’s nobody when my whole life she’s had nothing but mental health issues.”

Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders says his office doesn’t get access to mental health history before arrests and that only defense attorneys can ask for mental health evaluations for their clients.

It’s something Tammy’s family says they will pursue.

“Help her,” Mary said. “Don’t hurt her. Don’t just lock her up somewhere.”

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