Laura Oglesby, 48, an Arkansas woman living in Howell County, Missouri, was arrested in August 2018 for stealing the identity of her estranged daughter.
Oglesby pleaded guilty Monday, December 6, 2021 to steal and use her daughter’s identity to accumulate nearly $ 20,000 in student and other debt in order to return to college and live like a woman in her twenties.
Oglesby was already on the run over fraud charges in Arkansas when she moved to Mountain View, Missouri in 2016. Using the birth certificate of her 24-year-old daughter, Lauren Asleigh Hays, she got a Social Security card and a Missouri driver’s license.
When Missouri investigators caught up with her in 2018, they discovered that Oglesby had stolen and taken the name and identity of her daughter, from whom she had been separated for at least two years.
It all started when Stetson Schwien, a detective in Mountain View, Missouri, received a call from authorities in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 2018. Arkansas detectives had been looking for three years for Laura Oglesby, who disappeared under a US arrest warrant for financial identity fraud.
Arkansas detectives were working on reports that Oglesby was using her daughter’s identity while she lived and worked in the Mountain View area.
Detective Schwien’s research revealed that skmeone using Lauren Ashleigh Hays ‘name held a valid Missouri driver’s license and a Social Security number linked to Hays’ name. A comparison of the Missouri license photo for Hays with photos of Oglesby showed a similar facial structure and the same crooked tooth.
Retail Schwien learned that Hays / Oglesby worked at the public library and used a traffic check as she drove to work to apprehend the fugitive.
“ChWe told me that she took her daughter’s birth certificate, came to Missouri, and was able to get a new identity with that birth certificate. “
“Laura Oglesby was able to get a new Social Security card using the birth certificate. She took that Social Security card and applied for a Missouri driver’s license.”
“She took the exam and got a driver’s license. As a result, she was able to work in various local businesses and get a job in the city of Mountain View.”
Investigators say Olgesby also used her daughter’s identity to obtain about $ 17,000 in federal financial assistance for Southwest Baptist University in Mountain View, where she studied under her daughter’s name.
A spokesperson for the university said:
“We were saddened to learn of this situation and fully cooperated with the investigation.”
“Our prayers are with everyone involved.”
Oglesby got a job at a local public library reading stories to children. She has lived her life pretending to be a 24 year old woman.
Court documents show Oglesby used the name Lauren Hays on federal student aid forms, multiple W2 forms, vehicle title, cell phone accounts, bank account information and more.
Detective Schwien said KY3 News:
“She had completely adopted a younger lifestyle: clothes, makeup and personality.”
“She had completely assumed to be a younger person in her early twenties.”
Oglesby also took advantage of the kindness of a local couple, Avery and Wendy Parker.
The Parkers reported:
“A woman in town said there was a girl who had an abusive relationship and she was at Christos House and wanted to know if we could help her, get her back on her feet, get her started, guide him and get him a new fresh life. “
“We said of course, absolutely.”
For several years, the Averys treated Oglesbys like she was their daughter.
Avery Parker said:
“She was a dizzy, silly girl. She was 22 but she played 17.”
When Oglesby’s story began to unfold, the Parkers contacted a relative living in the same town Oglesby claimed to be, unaware that the Mountain View Police Department was already investigating her.
Wendy Parker said:
“Within 24 hours Laura surfaced and was arrested.”
Avery Parker added:
“I’m really trying to see the [then] Laura, 45, so I can hate her. ”
“But all I can see is a 22 year old Lauren, whom I just wanted to help.”
“If I could message her I just wanna tell her the people she’s hurt the most we’re nothing [in comparison], they were his children. “
“She hurt her children. “
On Monday, more than three years after his arrest, Oglesby pleaded guilty to one count of providing false information to the Social Security Administration.
She faces up to five years in prison.
She will have to pay $ 17,521 in restitution to Southwest Baptist University as well as in restitution to her daughter.
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