Sunday, October 14, 2012
Update: Cindy Choi's Facebook gone
Cindy Choi, who created a blog and series of Facebook pages posing as a cancer-stricken family for three years, no longer has her own personal Facebook page.
It's not clear if Facebook terminated her account, or if Choi and her family took it down in light of the recent publicity.
The 28-year-old Doral restaurant owner had always maintained her own personal page, separate from Kevin and Lucas San Roman, the two brothers she created using photos stolen from the pages of a Pittsburgh family.
Kevin, who claimed to have leukemia, attracted hundreds of friends in South Dade, while cultivating romances with several teenage girls via Facebook, text message and phone conversations. When he died, Lucas continued wooing young girls while advocating cancer causes.
I managed to view Choi's private Facebook page, which struck me as wholly normally if at times excessive -- she posted constantly. The photos were normal, depicting everything from a family cruise, vacations in her native Colombia, nights out with friends.
There were some key links to the "San Roman" pages. Choi frequently posted photos of an adorable toddler boy, the son of her family's business partner.
But at the same time, "Lucas" posted the exact same photos, except the baby's name was "Tommy" and he was purportedly a little cousin to the San Roman brothers.
The Chois' business partner was floored when I told him about the use of his son's image. He agreed to an interview at their Coconut Grove restaurant. But less than hour before the interview, his cousin called me to say that the family decided against an interview because "Cindy is a good person."
Choi and her creation, "Lucas," also shared a penchant for constantly posting inspirational and motivational sayings, sometimes the exact same ones.