The woman who threw a gender-reveal party for her unborn baby where nine people were shot was never pregnant, police in Colerain Township, Ohio said.
Cheyanne Willis organized a gathering of her friends and family at a home July 8 to reveal the gender of her baby, which she later said would be a boy. Late in the evening, police said that at least two suspects entered the home and opened fire at party guests who were watching TV in the living room.
One person was killed in the shooting — Willis’ cousin Autum Garrett — and eight others were injured.
Willis said after the incident that she was no longer pregnant because of an injury she suffered in the shooting. She told WCPO News outside of the home the next morning, using crutches, that she lost her baby after being shot in the leg.
But Colerain Township police are now saying that Willis lied and made up her pregnancy. They said in a statement that they haven’t identified or arrested any suspects in the case yet, and Willis has continuously provided false information to them.
“Sadly, the police department, media and public have been given information we have found to be false,” Colerain Township Police explained in a statement July 17. “Hours and days have been wasted following leads known to be lies when they were provided to our officers. From the very beginning of this investigation, we have met significant resistance that is uncommon from victims of crime wanting a resolution.”
Willis made a post on Facebook prior to the shooting saying “It’s a boy!” But police are saying there was never a baby on the way in the first place.
“We were led to believe an unborn child was murdered in this incident only to find out that is not the case,” police said. “The Coletain Police Department will not comment further on any other misleading information, other than to say we wish our time had been spent on true leads that would help us remove these dangerous criminals from the streets.”
Police spokesman Jim Love said he would let prosecutors decide if Willis should face charges for providing false information.
Police Chief Mark Denney said authorities recovered an unloaded handgun in the front yard of the home, though there was no shootout. Denney added that he thought the renter of the home owned the gun.
Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the case.
Willis was the subject of a December 2014 viral video where she assaulted in a mall parking lot. Willis said her head was shaved by a group and a phrase was written across her forehead in a violent assault. The graphic video was posted to social media, and Willis claimed at the time she was bullied by a group that included her now ex-boyfriend.