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Woman steals another's identity, gets into Ivy League

By Iamseven     Jan 19, 2007 in Crime
Brooke Henson disappeared at the age of 20 more than seven years ago. Nothing was heard about her until last summer, when her family received a phone call that made them jump for joy.. until they realized what was actually going on.
Henson lived in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, where she went missing more than seven years ago. Police believe that Henson was killed, and by someone who knew her, but Henson's body has never been found and there was never enough evidence to make an arrest.
Her family was convinced that they would never seen Brooke again, until one day last summer when they received a phone call which gave them renewed hope.. but hope that would be abruptly smashed.
The NYPD called the Traveler's Rest police and notified them that they had found Brooke Henson in Manhattan. The police, of course, quickly relayed this to the Henson family.
"I was jumping for joy," said Lisa Henson, Brooke Henson's aunt. "It was incredible."
Their joy soon turned to confusion and horror, however. The woman police interviewed was not Brooke Henson-- but rather another young woman who had assumed Henson's identity.
The imposter's real name is Esther Reed, who is from Townsend, Montana. She was reported missing by her family more than 7 years ago-- around the time that Brooke Henson vanished without a trace.
"I had pretty much come to terms that she was dead," said Edna Strom, Reed's sister.
The problem is, Reed's missing again. She disappeared after police realized that she had assumed someone else's identity.
Being Brooke Henson paid off well for Reed. Using Henson's identity, she was able to apply to Harvard and Columbia-- and she got into both schools, despite the fact that in actuality Reed is a high-school dropout.
"She was able to get some true identification using fake identification and she was able to take the SAT and GED in our victim's name and she used those to apply to Columbia," said Jon Campbell, an investigator with the Travelers Rest Police Department.
The investigation has been passed on to the Army, as she had relationships with four officer candidates at West Point and Annapolis and she has received money transfers from other countries, so they want to be certain that she is not a spy.
Police don't think that Reed was involved with Henson's disappearance, but they would like to question her on the matter. Her family doesn't believe that she wants to come back and be Esther Reed again, however.
More about Steals, Identity, Ivy, League