As for the images of the San Roman family, Choi admitted the pictures of the cancer patients were from her friends [Facebook] and she basically was getting info from his life and using it as her own, Doral Detective Yvette Gomez wrote in an e-mail to Masters.
Choi later confessed to Gomez. She is a very disturbed person, Gomez wrote.
Chois brother insisted his sister would seek psychological help. Both Gomez and Masters sternly warned Choi to stop the fakery. But there was little else they could do.
Experts say Choi likely suffers from Münchausen disorder, in which people create illnesses to garner attention.
And Münchausen by Internet is fast being recognized as more people use the power of social media to create fake personas, said Dr. Marc Feldman, a University of Alabama psychiatrist who first coined the phrase.
But Chois case, he said, is highly unusual because the deception lasted so long and escalated into targeting young girls.
The real motive is attention and sympathy and the power over others, Feldman said. It does sound sadistic and predatory.
In the aftermath, the Masters family began contacting other victims, piecing together the extent of Chois deception. Kaitlin still struggles to accept that Lucas was a phantom.
Im proud of my daughters decision to go public with her story. It wasnt easy, but its an important story to tell, she said. Cindy Choi may have resumed her life on Facebook, but these victims continue to live in fear and with the psychological torment caused by years of lies.