SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A California man and two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly faking the death of a young boy in order to collect funeral donations.
Deputies found the trio holding signs and asking for donations Monday near the area of U.S. Highway 395 and Palmdale Road in Victorville, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
The signs said the donations were for the funeral of a young boy, whose picture was attached.
Richard Navarrete, 20, and two 14-year-old boys were arrested when investigators determined the boy on the sign was still alive.
The child is actually the son of one of Navarrete’s friends, the Sheriff’s Department stated.
Three water bottles with donated cash inside were also found at the scene.
Investigators talked to one victim who was located nearby.
They believe several other victims are out there and are asking for anyone with information to contact the Victorville Police Department at 760-241-2911. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463.