People question if Facebook fundraisers for fallen officer are legit
ELDON - When Miller County Deputy Casey Shoemate died in the line of duty, many people showed their support by setting up online fundraisers for the family. With those sites came questions, as many people asked, "is this legitimate?"
Shoemate died on April 20 when responding to a 911 call. Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire said some of the fundraisers were not approved by the family at first.
"I wouldn't say they were unauthorized, but the family didn't know about them," Gregoire said.
An organization called Concerns of Police Survivors said some people take advantage of tragedies like these to make a profit. It said some fake fundraisers deter people from from donating to the correct cites.
Bella Boutique, an Eldon business, created patches for people to buy after Shoemate's death.
After hearing about some of the commotion on Facebook, the store manager, Jessica Bishop, said they made sure people knew the family approved the fundraiser.
"We had already been contacted by his parents, but we even triple checked and dotted everything to make sure this is something that is on the up and up," she said.
Bishop said they do not profit from making the patches.
"It breaks our heart to know that someone would look at that as a profitable situation," she said.
The Miller County Sheriff's Department said the list of official items for sale, with profits going to the family, is on Facebook under a page called Casey Shoemate's Memorial Page- Official.