The Bradley Police Department issued a public warning about several fraudulent GoFundMe pages for one of their fallen officers.
The department said the pages were created by scammers pretending to be family members.
On Dec. 29, veteran officer Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic was fatally wounded while responding to a call with her partner at a Comfort Inn hotel located about an hour drive south of Chicago.
The call was regarding an unoccupied vehicle with barking dogs. Rittmanic and her 27-year-old partner Tyler Bailey approached the room where the vehicle owners were staying and started a conversation, but were shot at soon after.
Rittmanic did not survive her wounds, while Bailey remains in the hospital in critical condition, and underwent surgery.
The department stressed that the only legitimate fundraiser page was created by the family of wounded Officer Bailey, and to request a refund from the site if a donation was given to the wrong page.
“There have been several Go Fund Me fundraisers posted by supposed family members of Sgt Marlene Rittmanic. NONE of these are legit and the family will NOT be creating any fundraising pages through Go Fund Me,” the department said on Facebook. “If you see a fundraising page for Sgt Marlene Rittmanic you can report it to them as fraudulent and if you’ve donated to one please seek a refund.”
“There is ONE fundraiser page that has been created by the family of Officer Tyler Bailey,” the department emphasized. That page can be found here.
So far, five individuals have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
“We thank you for the amount of support we’ve received from the community and we ask you to continue to keep Sgt Rittmanic and Officer Bailey along with their families in your thoughts and prayers,” police said.