Fake obit aimed to fool creditors, woman says

A paid obituary appeared last week in The Post and Courier for a woman's "daughter," a 24-year-old Air Force officer supposedly killed in Iraq. The only problem: The daughter never existed, and the woman said she was just trying to keep creditors off her back. The Post and Courier reports:

Melanie Grant, 39, said she thought she could buy time with creditors if she told them her daughter had died. A paid obituary published Thursday and Friday in The Post and Courier stated Lt. Melissa Hope Grant, 24, died May 11 in Iraq.

"I just made it up. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking," a tearful Melanie Grant said.

There was even a photo to go with the obit, apparently taken out of a bridal magazine. And it wasn't just the newspaper that was fooled. Everything went through the proper channels, The Post and Courier said, in which only obituaries from funeral homes are accepted. So, it's Suburban Funeral Home that really got hoodwinked here. The article continues:

Skip Mikell, executive vice president and general manager of Suburban Funeral Home, said he never suspected anything unusual about the "death."

Two women who identified themselves as aunts of the "deceased" sat in the funeral home's family room May 14 and gave Mikell basic information, he said. Grant said Tuesday that neither woman is a relative, but one is a longtime friend.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the obit was still viewable on The Post and Courier's Web site. We've hosted an image of that page so others can view it should it be removed from their Web site.

Filed in