Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.
Indiana Gazette, Saturday, December 27, 2008 12:41 PM EST
What ultimately gave Wendy Brown away wasn't so much that she looked considerably older than the other cheerleaders at Ashwaubenon (Wis.) High School. It was that she stopped attending classes.
An investigation by truant officers into Brown's absence from school led to the discovery of a more serious offense: She had stolen the identity of her estranged 15-year-old daughter, who resides with family in Nevada. Brown used the teenager's transcript, Social Security card and birth certificate to enroll at Ashwaubenon, where she also made the cheerleading team - despite the fact she was 33.
``It's not all that suspicious if you have someone register from out of state and provide the necessary documents,'' said Lt. Jody Crocker, an Ashwaubenon public safety officer. ``I don't know how long she could have continued to play the game, but she was successful at what she was doing.''In fact, Brown was so convincing in her role as a teenager that no one challenged her. Said Ashwaubenon student Spencer Corpus, ``She did look older, but you didn't want to question it. You just go, aw, all right, whatever.''
Cheering for Ashwaubenon enabled Brown to, however briefly, fulfill a long-held dream. According to the criminal complaint filed against her, ``The defendant stated she wanted to get her high school degree and be a cheerleader because she had no childhood and was trying to regain a part of her life she missed.''
Brown, who faces charges of identity theft, theft through false representation and forgery, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Some of her fellow students concluded she had to be insane to voluntarily enroll at Ashwaubenon.
``That's just something you never hear about - a 33-year-old going to high school,'' said junior Hope Edlebeck. ``It's just really bizarre.''