A blogger who outraged her readers by soliciting funds for an allegedly troubled pregnancy that turned out to be fiction has emerged again with a lengthy apology.
"I lied and I am not trying to hide that, nor am I trying to minimize it," she claimed in a blog post, also e-mailed to ABC News. "Worse still, I lied to a community of people whose only intention was to support me through this time and that is wrong, and for that I am sorrier than you could know."
In painstaking detail and heartbreaking prose, the blogger, who claimed to be a young single mother, shared with the world the compelling story of carrying to term a baby she said she knew was going to die.
The baby, a girl named April because of the month she was due, was to be born with a rare disorder called holoprosencephaly that would prevent her brain from properly developing, cause her face to be deformed and ultimately result in her early death, the blogger said.
In just a few short months, hundreds of thousands of readers driven to the site from other anti-abortion and religious sites praised the mother for her strength and her devout Christian faith.
At first "B" or "April's Mom," the monikers the anonymous blogger used, asked only for her readers' prayers. And they came in droves; not just from readers caught up in a riveting real life drama, or from Christians who celebrated her story as an anti-abortion parable, but from mothers of sick and dying children who wanted to commiserate and lend their support.
But soon, April's Mom asked for more than just prayers. She posted a P.O. Box, to which readers could send gifts or money and on the side of the page where there was once only a form for submitting well-prayers emerged a list of advertisements.
Though she described visits with her doctors, plans for her delivery and posted pictures of herself and eventually the baby -- who she said was born weeks late last Sunday and died hours later -- none of the story was true.
The hoax was uncovered by the same women who read and commented on the site, littleoneapril.blogspot.com. Once-loyal readers became increasingly suspicious by a lack of information, constantly changing due dates and a planned home delivery.
But it was the photo of baby April Rose, posted for a moment and then taken down, that would unravel the intricate weeks-long lie.
"It wasn't a photo of a baby at all," said Elizabeth Russell, a mother and maker of lifelike Reborn Dolls, "It was a doll. I have that same doll."
"I've made that doll enough times that there was no mistaking it. I couldn't believe what she was trying to pull. It's outrageous that she would manipulate people like that," said Russell, a 31-year-old mother of two from Buffalo, N.Y.
"People now are going to look at people who are really in need with skepticism," she said. "It's not fair to people with real tragedies who need help and prayers."
That outrage spread as readers pieced together more elements of the deception, eventually outing "April's Mom" as Becca Beushausen, a 26-year-old from Mokena, Ill., a town outside Chicago.
"I think it's sick, what she did," said Briane Gibson, a 24-year-old blogger who quickly became suspicious and helped identify Beushausen, when her real name -- as the site's creator -- briefly flashed on screen when the blog would load.
"She was feeding off people's sympathy. She was making money of people," Gibson said.