On Thursday, May 2, the Story County Sheriff’s Office filed charges on Heidi Denio, 37, of Iowa Falls, for Theft 1st (Class C Felony), Ongoing Criminal Conduct (Class B Felony) and Forgery (Aggravated Misdemeanor).
The charges stem from a March 4, 2012 benefit that was held in Zearing for Denio when she had claimed to be suffering from terminal cancer.
Denio was featured in an February 2012 issue of the Nevada Journal as organizers of the benefit were seeking publicity to help get word out about what was being done to help her. Her mother, Sheri Read, sat down for the interview at the time and talked about the efforts going on to help her daughter and about her daughter’s battle with cancer, which she said began with cervical cancer shortly after her youngest son was born.
The benefit raised approximately $50,995. The sheriff’s office initiated an investigation into the validity behind Denio’s claim that she had cancer after anonymous tips came in alerting authorities to the contrary. During the course of the yearlong investigation, it was revealed that Denio’s claims to have cancer were false and that she had forged a doctor’s signature on a letter trying to back up her false claims. The Ongoing Criminal Conduct charge stems from the fact that Denio has continued to receive funds from the public to support her fictitious medical condition.
Anyone with further information on this case is encouraged to call Sgt. Rodney Bunn at 515-382-7476.
Also, anyone wanting to anonymously report information may do so to Story County Crime Stoppers by calling 515-382-7577; by texting "STORYCOUNTY," followed by your information to 274637 (Crimes) or by going online to www.storycountycs.com. Rewards up to $1,000 may be given from Story County Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest.