The 48-year-old lived as her daughter for two years.
A 48-year-old Missouri mother has admitted stealing her estranged 22-year-old daughter's identity and pretending to be her for two years.
Laura Oglesby pled guilty on Monday to intentionally providing false information to the Social Security Administration so she could enroll in university, secure student loans, get a driver's license and even date guys half her age.
"Everybody believed it," Mountain View Police Department Chief Jamie Perkins told the New York Times. "She even had boyfriends that believed that she was that age: 22 years old."
In 2018, Oglesby was arrested for Financial Fraud and Embezzlement of over $25,000; police posted her mugshot — complete with cat ear headband — on Facebook, asking for victims to come forward.
According to investigators, Oglesby received $9,400 in federal student loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants, and even $337 for books purchased at the university's bookstore.
It was police in Arkansas who initially began hunting for her: after spending almost three years trying to track her down, they contacted authorities in Mountain View, about 40 miles across the state line, saying they believed she was living there under a false identity. Local police then found her working at a city library, under the name Lauren Ashleigh Hays.
"She actually was employed here, which was kind of odd," Chief Perkins said. "And that's how we figured out who she was."
After being pulled over during a traffic stop, she denied being Laura Oglesby — until police showed her proof. She then confessed.
According to Chief Perkins she told them "She was just running because she was in a domestic violence relationship, and she'd been running for years."
"We don't know her life story outside of what she told us, but we know what happened here," he added.
"She had lived that life for a couple of years and basically just ruined her daughter's credit."
Detective Stetson Schwien was the one who finally tracked her down.
"She had completely adopted a younger lifestyle: clothing, makeup and personality," he told KY3. "She had completely assumed becoming a younger person in her early twenties."
Oglesby had even managed to fool a local couple, Avery and Wendy Parker, into taking her in.
"A woman in town had said that there was a girl who had had an abusive relationship and she was at the Christos House and wanted to know if we could help her out, get her on her feet, get her started, mentor her and get her a fresh new life," the couple told the outlet. "We said sure, absolutely."
"She was a giddy, silly girl. She was 22 but she acted 17."
"I try real hard to see the 45-year-old Laura, so I can hate her. But all I can see is a 22-year-old Lauren, who I just wanted to help," Avery said.
His wife added: "If I could give her a message it, I would just like to tell her that the people she hurt the most, we're nothing, was her kids. She hurt her kids."
When sentenced, Oglesby could face up to five years in federal prison. She must also pay back almost $18k restitution to Southwest Baptist University — and her daughter.