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Merrill woman to face trial for faking cancer to get donations


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) -- A 19-year-old Merrill woman will be heading to trial on theft charges for faking cancer to get donations from the community.

Police say Celina Winchell was engaged in an elaborate scheme on social media and the community to fake Stage 3 lung cancer, and placed donation jars at 16 Merrill area business to raise money for what she said would be chemotherapy. The Eagle's Nest was also planning on holding a pancake breakfast for her as a benefit.

She's now facing 17 counts of theft and one count of obstruction.

A tentative trial date of August 15 has been set in the case. Celina is currently free on a signature bond.