Hoax Alert: Missing 4-Month-Old Girl NOT Found Dead Under Fat Of 700 Pound Mother

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Tanya Gaskins, aged 35 of Greenville, North Carolina, was arrested for accidentally killing her own 4-month old daughter by rolling over her in her sleep and suffocating her in the folds of her 600 pound body. At least if you believe the story from The Empire Herald, a well known hoax website specializing in fake sensational news.

Tanya, who lost 100 pounds between the headline and the text of the article, initially called the police when she was unable to find her daughter waking up from taking a nap after breastfeeding. Before falling asleep the little girl had been right at her side in the bed. Only after later being taken to hospital because of abdominal pain was the horrific 'truth' discovered: the little girl had been crushed and had gotten stuck in a crevice of body fat.


The picture that goes with the story is an actual crime scene from Greenville, but in South Carolina, and it was from a November 1st 2013 shooting, with an inset picture taken from an online photo gallery showing the "World's Fattest Woman With Husband". Conclusion: it is pretty safe to say the entire story is not true.

So if you come across this story, don't be like the thousands of people who shared it online without thinking:

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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