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that story about the missing child.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
How sad for that family to find out that it was all a hoax.
Story was on the news yesterday about a little girl who came up missing 17 years ago.Someone called the family saying I think I am your daugther,today the news is she lied for some reason,and when they find her she will go to jail!What a horribale thing to do to that family!They all had there hopes up so high.The father broke down on TV,poor man!
post #2 of 14
That is sad, and anyone who would play a cruel trick on the family like that is very sick!!!!

There is a family here in Minnesota whose son was abducted by a stranger in front of his younger brother and a friend. It has been 10 years or maybe longer since this happened. No one knows what really happened to this boy. The police still get leads they follow up on, but they have never found a body and the boy has never contacted his family. The mother copes by helping others whose children are missing.
post #3 of 14
I hate it when people play such cruel jokes on people. That is so sick. She deserves some jail time for playing a cruel joke. The poor father, its got to be so hard on him.
post #4 of 14
I think this is far beyond a cruel joke. What the woman did was sadistic, period. Who would conceive of doing something like this? It takes a real sick and evil mind.
post #5 of 14
That is so terrible! What monster would take advantage of parents' grief this way?
post #6 of 14
that is one mean and sick person, they need to lock them up in a real nut house and let them see how fun it is, my sister works in a nut house and ive been there, it isnt pretty, pays good but not for me
post #7 of 14
Arrest expected soon in missing girl hoax
Prosecutor cites 'pretty good lead'
Thursday, July 31, 2003 Posted: 10:49 AM EDT (1449 GMT)

Donna L. Walker is wanted for allegedly duping a couple into thinking she was their missing daughter.

Indiana State Police say the woman who called the parents of a 6-year-old girl who has been missing since 1986 was 'the perpetrator of a cruel hoax.' CNN's Sean Callebs reports (July 30)

(CNN) -- Authorities are searching on Thursday for the woman who they say played a "cruel hoax" when she claimed to be Shannon Sherrill, the missing daughter of an Indiana couple.

"We do have a pretty good lead, we believe, on where she [the suspect] might be," Boone County prosecutor Todd Meyer told CNN's "American Morning." "We're working with telephone companies as we speak to trace numbers, and I believe very shortly we will have her in custody."

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Donna L. Walker, 35, of Topeka, Kansas, charging her with a felony count of identity deception and a misdemeanor count of false informing after she claimed to be the now-grown daughter of Mike and Dorothy Sherrill.

"We are seeking help from the public across the land to look for this woman," 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten of the Indiana State Police said, noting that Walker's last known address was Topeka.

"This has been a very cruel hoax for the family," Bursten told reporters.

Bursten said it has been "emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting for the immediate and extended family of Shannon Sherrill."

Mike Sherrill, Shannon's father, said he took the news of the alleged hoax "real hard," breaking down in sobs while talking to reporters.

His ex-wife, Dorothy Sherrill, also attended Wednesday's news conference, but did not speak.

Their daughter, Shannon, vanished from Thorntown, Indiana, on October 5, 1986, after playing with friends outside her home.

"It's been a very big roller coaster," said the girl's aunt, Jody Ames. "We've been up, we've been down, we've hoped for the best -- we're still hoping for the best. We just hope somebody will come forward and help us."

Authorities: Walker pulled similar hoaxes
Authorities said Walker not only called the parents, but telephoned members of the news media so the story would generate more publicity.

"The only good that may come out of this is to stir someone's conscience that knows true, valid information about the disappearance of Shannon," Bursten said.

"Hopefully they will be stirred to the point that they will contact the police department or the Indiana State Police with information."

Authorities said the motive behind the alleged hoax was unclear, because Walker did not make any demands to police or family members.

Shannon Marie Sherrill disappeared on October 5, 1986, from Thorntown, Indiana, at age 6.
They also said without elaboration that Walker has a history of carrying out similar hoaxes in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area.

Authorities said Walker first contacted Dorothy Sherrill on July 26, claiming to be her daughter. Walker then called Mike Sherrill on Saturday, authorities said, adding they also had been in phone contact with her, most recently on Tuesday.

Authorities said Walker used three different names and three different voices in various phone calls to help corroborate her story. The phone calls were all made from the Midwest to the Western United States, authorities said.

"All of the names used by Walker have been determined to be fictitious or the names of other people who have no connection to this case," Bursten said.

Police in Topeka searched Walker's residence there but found no sign she had been there in recent days, authorities said.

Meyer vowed to prosecute the case "with the full extent of the law."

"I'm very sorry for what's happened to this family," Meyer said. "I want everybody to know that I will do my best to make sure that this woman is brought to justice here so that this is never done anywhere else in this country."
post #8 of 14
The father's breakdown really broke my heart. He had so much hope. I read in another news story that for the first 10 years after his daughter's disappearance, the father went to work 7 days a week (he owns a mini-mart type of business) so that we wouldn't miss the call, in case his daughter tried to reach him.
post #9 of 14
I just saw the coverage on the news. That woman is dispicable! Those poor parents, to give them such hope and then to do this? I thought the poor father was going to stroke out! What a cruel and inhuman act to perpetuate. Shame on her!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wanted to jump through the TV and give the father a great big hug! then I wanted to slap the women who did this to them!
post #11 of 14
Sherrill hoax suspect turns herself in
Woman who told Indiana family she was their missing daughter will appear in court on Friday.

Related Content

• Sherrill hoax suspect turns herself in
• Dad told at last minute to keep hoax under wraps

By Fred Kelly
July 31, 2003

TOPEKA, Kan. -- The woman accused of crafting a deception that left an Indiana family heartbroken surrendered to police Thursday.

Donna L. Walker was driven to the Shawnee County Adult Detention Center by her attorney and will appear in court Friday. It is not known if she will waive extradition and agree to be returned to Indiana to face charges of identity deception and false reporting.

Donna Walker
Investigators in Indiana and Kansas, meanwhile, continue to try to unravel the mysterious events surrounding this 35-year-old woman accused of pretending to be the long-lost Shannon Marie Sherrill, who was 6 years old when she disappeared from Thorntown in 1986.

Hearing that Walker had surrendered about 5 p.m., Mike Sherrill, Shannon's father, said: "That's great."

Sherrill has been tortured this week by the false hope police said Walker provided when she called him, pretending to be Shannon.

"She might be sorry," he said, "but sorry is not enough."

Dorothy Sherrill, Shannon’s mother, said she was relieved to hear of Walker’s arrest and hoped she would be sent back to Indiana to “get everything she deserves.†Despite the hoax, she said, “I’m not going to give up on my daughter.â€

Walker has reportedly been researching a book on the topic, working with a man in Toronto who has been paying her rent and her bills and confirmed his friendship with Walker in an interview with The Indianapolis Star.

Lionel Poizner told The Star the book was to focus on Walker's life story, because she has "been through some hard times." He did not elaborate.

Poizner also called the charges pending against Walker "preposterous."

"She is the sweetest person I have ever met," said Poizner. Of her current mental state, he added: "she is a little rattled."

It's unclear if Poizner is a book publisher; an Internet search, however, indicated he operated a Web-site design service catering to health care professionals.

Details of Walker's strange past are still emerging. They include allegations that she scammed people who trusted her, called in false reports of major crimes and reportedly has multiple personalities -- including one that allows her to sound like a man on the phone.

Indiana State Police held a news conference Wednesday to name Walker as the perpetrator of a cruel hoax on the Sherrill family. They said Walker called the family and media, posing not only as Shannon but as a female friend and also as a man, in an attempt to bolster her fraud.

The deception started to unravel, police said, when they were unable to verify the names and addresses the caller had provided.

From across the country, reports also are surfacing about Walker's obsession with pedophilia. An FBI agent in Portland, Oregon, told Indiana State Police that Walker had helped her in the past with "good information" regarding the investigation of child pornography and pedophilia.

Court records and interviews indicate Walker has had brushes with the law in California, Kansas, Virginia and Nebraska involving such offenses as making crank calls, reporting a false fire alarm, writing bad checks, making a bomb threat and using stolen credit cards to run up long-distance charges, according to an Indiana State Police affidavit.

In Urbandale, Iowa, an arrest warrant was issued for Walker last August for making a string of "weird calls" to police reporting to have seen people assaulted at gunpoint. Police never verified the incidents alleged in the telephone calls, said Urbandale Police Sgt. Dave Disney.

An initial hearing will be held in Topeka Friday at 11 a.m. on a warrant charging Walker with being a fugitive from justice.

Boone County (Ind.) Prosecutor Todd Meyer said the national media attention has sparked many calls to his office from all over the country from people who have their own strange tales to tell of Walker's past.

Meyer said sheriff's deputies will travel to Topeka to bring Walker back to Indiana as soon as possible.

Walker, her dark hair in a pony tail, was driven to the jail by attorney William Rork, a well-known defense lawyer in Topeka.

"She is confident that the facts will come out through the judicial process," said Rork, when asked if his client is innocent. "There are a lot of factors" in this case.

Walker was to spend the night in jail.

Barta said there is no evidence that Walker had fled Topeka or had been in hiding.

"I can't imagine the emotional hardship the parents of the missing child are going through," said Shawnee County Sheriff Richard Barta.

In Topeka, her landlord, Daniel Roberts said Walker moved into a one-bedroom apartment in April. She paid $450 a month in rent.

"She has always been flaky and high maintenance," said Roberts, "but there was nothing to give you the impression that she would do something like this."

Walker told Roberts she moved to Topeka from California because she wanted a quiet place to write her book. She reportedly did not have a car and got around by taxi. Neighbors said few people ever visited.

Roberts said Walker is diabetic and about a month ago her relatives in Georgia called him with concern that she was not taking her insulin properly. He then went to her apartment and found her lying unresponsive. He said he gave her food and medicine and she recovered.

Neighbors said Walker did not say much. She would always sit on a patio or porch in a plastic lawn chair and talk on a cell phone with her back to the street. A garbage bag next to the chair was half-full of Marlboro cigarette butts and a pink lighter Thursday afternoon.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
i still hope she rots in hell,what a rotten thing to do to that family.
post #13 of 14
From what I've heard and read, she's got warrants, in several states for various crimes. A "little rattled" hardly covers this kind of behavior.
post #14 of 14
Despicable, just despicable.

I feel so horrible for the poor family, especially that poor father who just broke down. I cried too, I was so heartbroken for him.
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