Woman Discovers Her Son Was Being Used By Nanny – And Then She Learns The Nanny's Shocking Past

 Have you ever met a person you thought was nice, but realized after a while that they are the complete opposite? Someone once said: “Some people are real. Some people are good. Some people are fake. And some people are real good at being fake.” And there is no better way to describe the subject of this story, Ashley Bemis. This woman is so good at creating fake identities, that the people who have met her say that she is a chameleon. But how long can she keep up with her own lies?

Who's Watching?

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Many of us post regular updates on social media. Most of the time these updates include a photo, as well. But how many people actually wonder who is looking at these photos? Do we just post them so a select few from our friends list could see them (hopefully even like them) without thinking about the others who have access to our news feed?

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But how could one simple upload change anything, one may wonder? Well, there are people whose lives were turned upside down after they shared their photos online. Take Ashley Bemis, for example. She never even suspected that some details from the photos of her and her daughter she posted to Facebook would turn her life into hell. Only in this case, it was probably for the better.

How It All Started

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Emily Strickland gave birth to her son, Blake, in 2010. After a while, when her son was three months old, and she couldn't handle everything on her own, she needed to hire some help, so she found a nanny through an online service that matches families with daycare providers. After what followed, Ms. Strickland probably regretted her decision.

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It wasn't long before Emily found the perfect woman to care for her child - Ashley Bemis. The 28-year-old seemed to be a natural. She obviously knew her way around children, and Blake grew fond of Ashley very quickly. Emily Strickland was now certain she would be leaving her son in good hands when she left the house. But can we ever be certain of anything when we let a stranger into our home?

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Blake Strickland wasn't the only one who liked his new nanny. Now, don't get to thinking that it was Emily's husband who liked her, too, this is not another story where the nanny seduces gets with the husband. The other person who grew close to Ashley was Emily. Soon after she hired her, the two women started spending more and more time together and became best friends.

The Glad Tidings

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Everything was going well for the Stricklands and Ashley Bemis. About 14 months after she had started working there, Ashley told Emily the good news: Ashley was pregnant! Emily was thrilled for her! Ashley was so good with Emily’s son, Blake, that Emily knew she would make the perfect mother. A new baby would be a perfect addition to their happy little community.

Ashley's Pregnancy

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Emily was more than happy to help Ashley with anything Ashley needed during pregnancy. The two of them had a lot of time to share pregnancy stories and compare ultrasound scans, trying to figure them out. Emily even wanted to spare Ashley and cut her hours, but Ashley's pregnancy seemed to be going smoothly, so she refused to take it easy.

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Some women are rather lucky with their pregnancies, and Ashley seemed to be one of them. She never complained about anything and never even had morning sickness. Emily was starting to get worried that Ashley didn't feel comfortable telling Emily if anything was wrong. But then again, Emily regularly overheard her conversations with the doctor, and everything was pointing out to a healthy pregnancy.

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Emily was happy that there were no issues with Ashley's baby, but Emily started feeling that she put too much pressure on Ashley and that caring for Blake was probably too much for her at this point. And since Ashley was too dedicated and didn't seem to want to slow down even a little, Emily had to make that decision for Ashley. One day, Emily managed to convince Ashley to go home early.

The Shock That Ensued

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When Emily sent Ashley home, she was concerned for her, so she watched her walk down the street. But what Emily then saw, she couldn't quite understand. Ashley reached up into her top and pulled something out. Something that looked a lot like a pillow! Emily was in complete shock. Was that Ashley she was looking at, or did she confuse some stranger for her?

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What just happened with Ashley's baby bump? Emily was uncertain if she could believe her own eyes. Why would Ashley do something like that? What reason did she have to fake a pregnancy? She didn't have to lie to them about anything, let alone something as big as that. Who was the person she trusted her baby with for the past two years?

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How long are we supposed to know someone before we can start trusting them? Apparently, in Ashley's case, two years were not enough. Emily was wondering if that was even her real name. She was unsure if anything her nanny told her during the time they spent together was true. Emily had too many questions about Ashley and zero answers.

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Searching for Answers

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After the initial shock, Emily thought about what was going on in her home for the previous two years. She was rewinding her every interaction with Ashley, playing back everything Ashley had told her. Emily was starting to connect the dots, and she couldn't believe how blind she had been. The more she thought about it, the more Ashley's story sounded a little too well-knit to be true.

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Emily now knew that Ashley hadn't been honest with them and that there was probably a reason behind her fake pregnancy, but that woman had just spent two years with her child, and Emily was worried if Ashley wanted to harm Blake in any way. Since no one she knew could give her any answers, Emily decided to try to find the answers online.

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When it comes to social media, everyone can list at least five pros and cons, but one thing is clear: it gives you an opportunity to be whoever you choose to be. Ashley Bemis didn't miss that opportunity. After a thorough search, Emily finally found what she was looking for. But the thing she uncovered only raised hundreds of new questions.

Uncovering the Truth

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After searching through hundreds of profiles on Facebook, Emily finally stumbled upon a page made by her nanny. But the page wasn't Ashley's profile, it was dedicated to Ashley's baby daughter, Cheyenne. Emily was confused once again - as far as she knew, Bemis didn't have any children prior to this “pregnancy.” Was she hiding the fact that she had a child from her, as well?

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Emily still couldn't figure out what was Ashley's motive to fake a pregnancy and create a Facebook page for a fake baby, but she needed to get to the bottom of this. She inspected the photos that were posted on the page. Emily noticed that all the photos had one thing in common - none of them were showing the baby's face.

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After looking at the pictures over and over again, Emily found one that was showing a part of the baby's face, and it left her in terror. The baby on the pictures was none other than her son, Blake. She didn't understand why anyone would do such a thing, but she knew that she didn’t want Ashley to come close to her child ever again. She fired her immediately.

Who Is Cheyenne?

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The fake identity Ashley made up for Blake was a baby girl, Cheyenne. According to the information that she regularly posted on the Facebook page, Cheyenne was seriously ill. If she didn't get a surgery that was required, her chances of surviving were nonexistent. So Ashley used the page to ask for donations that would make that surgery possible. And who wouldn't want to help a dying baby?

Ashley's Lies

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It wasn't until much later that Emily Strickland found out that there was more to the story. In September 2011, Ashley began taking Blake to Mission Viejo, to a store specializing in clothing and accessories for kids. She made friends with the parents there and began telling people that Blake was actually her son. Literally everyone she met while she was with Blake was made to believe that she was his mother.

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For that group of people, Ashley had made another Facebook page - this one dedicated to her baby boy. But when Emily fired her, she was denied access to “her” son, and she needed to find a way out of a nasty situation. Ashley grew particularly close to a woman named Katie during the time she spent in the store in Mission Viejo. Katie was about to become another one of her victims.

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Being caught in a lie would make most people want to turn a new page. But Ashley Bemis is not most people. She couldn't be stopped just yet. After being fired by Emily Strickland, Ashley started weaving a new lie. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so the cover Ashley made up to fool her friend Katie was simply unspeakable.

...And More Lies

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Since there was no other way for her to explain why she didn't post photos of her son anymore, and couldn't be seen with him in Mission Viejo, Ashley Bemis came up with an unscrupulous lie. She called Katie one day, sobbing, and gave her the “bad news.” Her son had been killed in a fatal car accident. To some people, nothing is sacred, apparently.

Busted!

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Ashley's problem was that her frauds couldn't last forever. Katie would probably continue believing her “friend” Ashley, but Emily Strickland just wouldn't let her off easy. She organized a video chat with Katie, her husband Joe, and their young son. She did that so she could prove that Blake was actually her son and not Ashley's and that the child was very much alive.

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Katie was terrified to find out that such a person even existed, and that she had let her into her life, but she was glad that the child was safe. Also, she wasn't the only person Emily talked to. After firing Ashley, Emily Strickland managed to get a restraining order, which helped her feel safer. She also talked to the county sheriff, but he couldn't help her much more than that. He said that what Ashley did was wrong, but her being crazy wasn't illegal.

She Couldn't Help Herself

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It seemed that Ashley just couldn't stop herself from fooling people. In 2012, she created another fake life. And once again, her pregnancy suit was back in the game. This time, the story was that she had lost her husband to a terminal illness. It is strange how she managed to find people who had never heard about her previous schemes without moving to another state.

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Since that probably wasn't enough detail for the professional liar, she had to add another dead child. Namely, she said that her two-year-old had passed away from a heart defect. But on the bright side, life was giving her another chance at motherhood - she was “pregnant” again. It kind of makes you wonder - why did it always have to involve pregnancy and babies?

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One of the tear-jerking stories Ashley Bemis had posted on Facebook made it obvious that people believed her. Someone commented: “This is one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever heard! In the past nine months, Ashley and her husband have lost two babies!” Apparently, that was back in the day when her “husband” had still been alive.

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Using People

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When she heard about Ashley's misfortune, her new friend gave her best to help her. Worried about the young widow, the woman made sure Ashley had everything she needed for her new baby. She decided to throw a baby shower for her. Ashley got presents worth hundreds of dollars, but since there was no real baby she was expecting, she sold all the gifts and kept the money.

Her Story Made the News

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There was nothing to be heard about Ashley over the next couple of years, but in 2018 the story about Ashley Bemis was finally made known to everyone. On November 1st, she appeared on The Dr. Phil Show. And as it turned out, Ashley's career as a con-artist started while she was still in high school, and she got caught several times over the years.

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As it turned out, Emily Strickland's son, Blake, wasn't the only child she presented as her own. During her conning career, Ashley Bemis made up a total of eight children. She would take the photos of children she could find online (sometimes on Google, sometimes on Facebook), and post them as her own. And that's all it takes to make people think you have kids.

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Every single person she tricked, as well as everyone who had heard about her story, was asking the same question - why did she do it? Why would this young woman feel the need to pretend she was a mother when she wasn't? Although she claimed that she didn't fully understand the logic behind her actions herself, Dr. Phil tried to get the answers from her.

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Why Did She Do It?

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The former nanny stated that she never had a problem creating a fake life or fake identity for herself. Even though she kept doing it over and over again, she said that she knew that what she had been doing was wrong. Ashley Bemis said that pretending to be pregnant or to have children somehow made her feel more important.

A Cry for Attention

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Since she seemed to always get caught when she pretended to be pregnant or to have (other people's) children, she needed to find another way to feel important. She didn't have to look too hard - all she needed to do is turn on the TV and check the breaking news. Her latest made-up story was all about the California wildfires that were raging in November 2018.

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Since the wildfires quickly took control over most of the state, Ashley just had to have a part in it. She fabricated a story about a firefighter named Shane Goodman, who just happened to be her husband. Ashley created a Facebook page for her firefighter “husband” Shane long before the fires started as if she knew it would come in handy one day.

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Ashley posted an update on Facebook that her husband was one of the men who were risking their lives trying to tackle the wildfires. As she said, they were low on supplies and they needed donations. Whether she was hoping that people would donate money is unknown, but in a short period of time Ashley managed to collect $11,000 worth of supplies.

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Busted! Again...

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She obviously didn't cover her tracks too well. Someone who was aware of Ashley's past wrong-doings saw her post on Facebook and warned people about her scheme. What ensued after was, in Ashley's own words, a “social media bloodbath.” Someone even shared her license plate number and her home address, so it wasn't long before the police came knocking on her door.

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Although Ashley Bemis claimed that she had donated all of the goods she collected, the police still found a part of it in her garage and her car. As she explained, she needed to lay low for a while, because everyone now had her address and license plate number, so she just couldn't risk going out to drop it off. Maybe it's true, but who would believe such an experienced liar?

The Truth Comes Out Eventually

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After being caught in a lie publicly during the California wildfires and being charged by the police, the world was finally getting more information about the dangerous woman. Everyone was still trying to solve the puzzle of who Ashley Bemis really was and why she did the things she did. At least the families affected by her crimes were able to try to piece their lives back together knowing they are safe from her.

Secret Stash

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Although Ashley insisted that she had given away all the donations she collected, the police didn't believe it. Their investigation was thorough, so they discovered that Ashley had another hiding place. Apart from the one on her property, they found another garage where she stashed the things she had collected over the years, as well as what was left of the recent donations.

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Getting Arrested

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Many people, such as Emily Strickland, had waited long enough for it to happen, but in December 2018, Ashley was finally arrested. Once they started searching, it wasn't long before the police had more than enough evidence to get Ashley Bemis behind bars. Although she never physically harmed anyone, her actions caused emotional distress to a lot of people.

Going to Jail

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Four months after she got arrested, Ashley Bemis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 177 days in prison. And the list of the crimes she committed was quite long. Some of them include dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, fraud counts, burglary, and grand theft. According to the court records, she was convicted of over thirty crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

The Guilt

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Although it is unclear whether she even realized what she was doing was a crime, during her appearance on Dr. Phil, she expressed sorrow for what she had done. She didn't have much to say in her defense, but she said that she was sorry for the pain she kept causing to the families of people who had let her into their homes and lives.

Digital Kidnapping

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Dr. Phil made Ashley face three of her victims: Emily, Katie, and Halleigh. Halleigh was the last one she had tricked. The two of them met in 2012 while they were both working as wedding planners. Soon after that, Halleigh was warned that someone was stealing pictures of her children and posting them as their own. That person claimed that it was Ashley Bemis who did that, but Ashley denied it.

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Halleigh continued to say that she got the news that Ashley was pregnant in 2017. She needed to check that information, so she contacted Ashley. Ashley confirmed that she had been 33 weeks pregnant with twins, and that she had been in a horrible car accident. Since she knew that Ashley had a tendency to lie, she called the emergency room, and guess what? They didn't have any record of Ashley Bemis.

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Halleigh said that Ashley even posted a photo of very small babies that were in a hospital, hooked up to a machine. In the description of the picture she posted, she wrote that these were her children, Hudson and Brailey. Halleigh wouldn't let go, so she did a reverse Google image search, and the photos came back to The Huffington Post.

Hopeless?

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The three women all agreed that Ashley Bemis was beyond hopeless. Ashley said that the legal issues she was facing could serve as a wake-up call for her, and that, with Dr. Phil's help, she hoped she could change her ways. Emily Strickland strongly disagreed. And rightfully so. If having restraining orders against you weren't good enough wake-up calls, why would this be?

Going Viral

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After her appearance on the popular TV show, the story of Ashley Bemis, the scamming nanny, had gone viral. Everyone she had ever met was now able to see her for who she really was. People around the country were wondering how she managed to trick people for so long? But as Katie said on Dr. Phil, the woman was a chameleon.

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Everyone started analyzing her story and pictures, and couldn't believe that anyone had ever believed her. Well, it's easy to say that when you're not the one involved. There were comments on how it was obvious that her belly was fake, and that she wouldn't be able to move the way she did in a video she posted if she were really pregnant. But when someone you know tells you they are pregnant, would you double-check that information?

Fake Husband

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It is strange that none of her friends noticed, but her firefighter husband's face is well-known to many people across the globe. When Ashley Bemis posted a photo of her husband, Shane Goodman, on Facebook, it was actually a picture of an actor, Jesse Spencer, who portrays a firefighter in a TV show, Chicago Fire. Before that, he was a regular on the popular TV series, House, M.D.

It All Started In High School

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Ashley Bemis started her career as a con-artist rather early. She was still in high school when her first fake pregnancy happened. It is no wonder that she got so good at it when she had plenty of time to practice. A woman named Shannon Crowley talked about it on Dr. Phil. She (thought she) knew Ashley at that period.

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Crowley said that Ashley came to school one day and announced that she was pregnant. Although she was still very young, no one found it strange that she wanted to keep it. According to Shannon Crowley, more and more people found out about Ashley's pregnancy, and no one had any reason to doubt it. They even threw a baby shower for her.

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Ashley's first fake pregnancy victim was the man her mother was dating at the time. She explained that she told everyone that he had raped her and that the baby she was carrying was his. When Dr. Phil asked her why she had done it, she said that it was because the man had been married and she thought he had been using her mother. She obviously thought that he deserved to have his life ruined because of it.

What Happens Next?

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Although Ashley still sticks to her story that she never meant to hurt anyone and that even though everyone thinks she was using the California wildfires for personal gain, she genuinely wanted to help people affected. She claims that she thought people would believe her more if they thought she was somehow personally involved in it. But we will never know whether she is honest or playing one of her tricks again.

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Time will show whether the time she spent in jail will have any effect on Ashley Bemis. Will it really be a wake-up call, as she said? We hope Ashley sticks to her word and finds the much needed help, but her reputation will not make it easy. Now that the entire country knows that she lied to everyone she has ever met, what reason do they have to think she could change?

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