Entertainment And News

48-Year-Old Woman Spends Two Years Posing As 22-Year-Old Daughter To Date Younger Guys And Attend College

Photo: Left: Mountain View Police Department; Right: Jason Raff // Shutterstock.Com
Laura Oglesby, depicted left, stole her daughter's identity.

A 48-year-old woman from Missouri pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud after police discovered that she spent years pretending to be her own daughter, who is in her twenties.

Laura Oglesby had spent two years attending college — and dating guys — all under the assumed identity of her estranged daughter Lauren Ashleigh Hays.

In 2016, Oglesby applied for a fraudulent Social Security card in Hay’s name to pose as her daughter.

Later, she used the fraudulent Social Security card to apply for a Missouri driver’s license, enroll in Southern Baptist University, and receive financial aid.

The woman had been living her life completely as a 22-year-old girl.

According to Mountain View Detective Stetson Schwien, the identity theft wasn’t just on paper.

He told a local news outlet, “She had completely adopted a younger lifestyle: clothing, makeup and personality. She had completely assumed becoming a younger person in her early twenties.”

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It seemed like everyone believed the ruse.

The chief of the Mountain View Police Department in Missouri, Jamie Perkins, told the New York Times that Oglesby had several boyfriends who did not know her real age or identity during that period.

An unknowing couple in the area took her in, practically adopting her.

Nearly three years before she was arrested, she was taken in by Avery and Wendy Parker, who believed they were helping a young woman escape an abusive relationship.

They told the local news outlet, “A woman in town had said that there was a girl who had had an abusive relationship and she was at the Christos House and wanted to know if we could help her out, get her on her feet, get her started, mentor her and get her a fresh new life. We said sure, absolutely.”

They took her in and treated the woman in her 40s like a daughter, but they started to question her story around the same time that the investigators came close to discovering Oglesby’s ruse.

Still, they were shocked to discover the truth — that they had unknowingly taken in an identity thief in her 40s.

Avery Parker said, “I try real hard to see the 45-year-old Laura, so I can hate her. But all I can see is a 22-year-old Lauren, who I just wanted to help.”

It was difficult to track her down.

Authorities from her home state of Arkansas had been on the lookout for Oglesby for years, as she had essentially disappeared, to them.

They suspected the identity theft, and so they contacted the police in Mountain View, where a “Lauren Ashleigh Hays” supposedly resided.

It was here where her story unraveled — when local authorities began to suspect her.

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They could see that she was employed at a city library, so Detective Schwien performed a traffic stop as she drove to work.

At first, Oglesby denied the fraud, until she was presented with some of the evidence they had against her.

"She told me that she had taken her daughter's birth certificate, came to Missouri and was able to obtain a new identity using that birth certificate," Schwien said.

Chief Perkins alleges that her story of escaping an abusive relationship might be the one genuine part, saying “She was just running because she was in a domestic violence relationship, and she’d been running for years."

"We don’t know her life story outside of what she told us, but we know what happened here.”

However, it is unfortunate that escaping abuse led her to hurt her daughter as well, who has stayed quite on her mother’s fraud.

Oglesby faces serious charges and consequences.

Finally, by pleading guilty, Laura Oglesby admitted that she provided false information to the Social Security Administration.

She has accepted a plea agreement, admitting her crimes, so she will be sentenced by a judge instead of tried by a jury.

Her charges could have her sentenced up to five years in prison, without parole. Additionally, she is expected to pay $17,521 in restitution, to Southwest Baptist University and to her daughter.

The sentencing date has not yet been set.

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on news and entertainment.