CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman could lose custody of her children after being accused of falsely telling her son and the rest of family he had cancer in order to raise money for vacations.
A key witness in the case exclusively talked with CBS4’s Jennifer Brice.
Sandy Nguyen will be back in court in June and her children are no longer living with her. Sources say the suspect’s son and three other children are living with their father because of a court order.
Nguyen can only see her son, the victim in the case, with the permission and supervision of Denver Human Services.
Jennifer Baltazar was close friends with Nguyen.
“I have trust issues with people I’ve known for years now,” Baltazar said.
Nguyen allegedly held fundraisers based on the lie. She worked with Baltazar at a salon where a client, who is a doctor who works in oncology at The Children’s Hospital, overheard a conversation about 6-year-old Jaiden.
“She’s like, ‘Hmm … I’ve never heard of him and I would have if he’s had a transplant, and if he’s going for a second one, I would have heard of him, because that’s the department I work,’ ” Baltazar said.
The arrest affidavit says the doctor contacted The Children’s Hospital and found that Jaiden had only been treated for asthma — never cancer. The hospital then filed a neglect report.
Baltazar says she feels betrayed.
“It was hurtful — and then it was happy because he’s not sick. And then you go back to angry, because how could she do this to him?” she said. “He absolutely did (believe he had cancer).”
The child told police his mother would shave his head. Baltazar says after the supposed cancer treatments, Nguyen even told people the child’s hair was growing back gray.
“She even had him wear the masks that the doctor wears sometimes to keep the germs away because he’s going through this,” Baltazar said. “That took a lot of thought and a lot of planning and a lot of doing to go that far … she’s obviously sick, is the only way I can describe it.”
Friends say after the arrest they’ve not heard from the Nguyen or her husband. But the court will on June 2 when she’s back for another hearing.