A woman has been convicted of plotting to kidnap her son from his foster home. Cynthia Lee Abcug, 53, was found guilty on Friday in Douglas County, Colorado, of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping and also a count of child abuse, local prosecutors announced.
Authorities say this all started in early 2019, when she lost custody of her son, then 7 years old. She fabricated him suffering various maladies including seizures and heart problems, authorities said. Defendant Abcug eventually reached out to possible QAnon supporters in a plot to abduct the boy from his new foster home, authorities said.
“The investigation found Abcug subjected her son to medical child abuse, commonly known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and then plotted to kidnap him from the foster home where he was living after he was removed from her care in 2019,” prosecutors said. “Evidence showed shortly after her son’s removal, Abcug planned to take her son back with assistance from unknown individuals, possibly QAnon, a far-right political and conspiracy theory movement.”
Her daughter, then 16, reached out to authorities about the plot.
“Ms. Abcug’s son was lawfully removed from her custody in order to protect him from imminent danger,” said John Kellner, district attorney of Colorado’s 18th Judicial District. “There’s no telling what may have happened to that little boy if the kidnapping plot had succeeded.”
Abcug testified, denying she made up her son’s medical issues or knowing anything about QAnon, prosecutors said. She said that she met people online from “Children’s Crusade,” believing they could “legally” get him back. She testified that one of them got an order to kidnap her the same day her daughter told police about the conspiracy.
Abcug was arrested in Montana in December 2019, authorities said.
The defense maintained at trial that authorities had no evidence of the kidnapping plot and that the state’s case was based on the daughter’s statement, according to The Associated Press.
Cynthia Abcug’s son was removed from her custody & placed in foster care after she made up several fake illnesses doctors testified weren’t true. Shortly after, she began plotting to #kidnap her son. Case details can be found here: https://t.co/R4KroWc7NM pic.twitter.com/qCukQ0rLvR
— DA Office of 18th (@DA18th) August 26, 2022
Prosecutors said Abcug’s son is doing better now. He has not had a serious medical problem since leaving Abcug’s custody, they said.
Two doctors, including his longtime physician, testified at trial that he had no signs of those conditions that his mother alleged, prosecutors said.
“The verdict today simply followed the evidence,” Chief Deputy DA Gary Dawson said. “While in the defendant’s care, her child was described as having repeated seizures and spells where he would fall to the ground. She claimed he had a brain tumor and that he was dying. Every single one of those reported symptoms disappeared when her son was removed from her care. Abcug’s daughter who was 16 at the time and her adult son made the difficult, yet admirable decision to testify against their mother about what they had witnessed and heard about the conspiracy to kidnap their brother.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 6.
[Mugshot via District Attorney’s Office of the 18th Judicial District]
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