WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Wallingford Police say 29-year-old Tyler William Tomer was arrested following a lengthy investigation into claims Tomer was faking terminal brain cancer to raise money.
“If he did it he ought to face whatever he should get,” said David Williams, a neighbor of Tomer’s.
Police say one of Tomer’s relatives tipped them off, saying they believed Tomer was not really sick, and using the money he made through donations for personal expenses.
Lt. Cheryl Bradley says the investigation into the allegations found Tomer faked doctors’ appointments, shaved his head to appear as if he was going through treatment, and purposely lost weight to appear sick.
“It makes people have to wonder you know what’s true and what’s not true,” said Tomer neighbor, Donna McMhon.
Police say Tomer was a star athlete at Sheehan High School, and after learning of his supposed diagnosis, the school held a fundraiser in his honor. More donations were made at a pasta dinner at a middle school in the town as well. Lt. Bradley said a charity golf event was held at Lyman Orchards with more than $10,000 going directly to Tomer. A Go-Fund-Me page set up by Tomer also raised more than $6,000. In total police say they are aware of more then $22,000 in donations that Tomer put directly into a personal account.
“Something like this is just unfathomable. I mean, all the people out there suffering from cancer, people who have family members suffering from cancer, I mean this is just a punch in the gut to them,” said Lt. Bradley.
Reporters spoke to a woman listed as a contact for one of Tomer’s fundraisers. She declined our request for an interview but did ask us we respect the privacy of her family.
Tomer has been charged with Larceny 1st Degree and Larceny 1st Degree by Defrauding a Public Community. He is currently being held on $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Wednesday, February 17th.