The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is investigating the depths of a Kalispell woman’s alleged multi-year scheme to defraud dozens if not hundreds of friends, family members and donors by faking a bout with a life-threatening cancer, while some who gave wonder how those closest to the woman could not have uncovered the hoax sooner.
Amy Crimmins-Glanville could not be reached by the Beacon for this story, but interviews with law enforcement, donors, acquaintances and fellow parishioners at Easthaven Baptist Church, as well as years of social media posts and comments delivered from the pulpit by longtime Easthaven pastor Daniel Lambert, paint a picture of a woman who went to tremendous lengths to conceal her actions, and whose undoing came only after one particularly far-fetched “miracle” raised too many red flags for several observers.
Crimmins-Glanville has not been charged with a crime nor been interviewed by FCSO as of Dec. 14, and she has made no public statements acknowledging the details of her illness. According to a GoFundMe page that raised nearly $30,000 on her behalf, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December 2015. A post on that GoFundMe page from Nov. 19 of this year shared confirmation that Crimmins-Glanville had fabricated her diagnosis.
“We were recently credibly informed that Amy has been lying about her cancer diagnosis,” Paul and Elyse Ernst wrote. Paul identifies himself as Crimmins-Glanville’s cousin. “She has never had cancer, never been treated for cancer, and has never seen a doctor for cancer in the past five years.”
In the years since 2015, a generous community centered around Easthaven Baptist rallied to collect untold thousands of dollars for Crimmins-Glanville and her three children, all of whom live in her Kalispell home (Crimmins-Glanville and her husband, Tim Glanville, divorced in 2014. Tim Glanville did not respond to a request for comment). In addition to several cash fundraisers, friends and family also provided meals, offered free services and, as Lambert detailed in a Nov. 22 address to his church, agonized over her condition.
“During this last week I have had the heaviest heart I have ever had in my 29 years as your pastor,” Lambert said. “I have wept over this situation, anguished over the ache in your hearts and longed to be able to care for you through this.”
Daniel Lambert and his wife, Vicki, grew close to Crimmins-Glanville during her supposed cancer journey and, according to multiple people interviewed for this story, were among the only people who regularly met with her face to face. The Lamberts got so close to the family that they were awarded legal guardianship of the three Glanville children if their mother died. With the fraud now exposed, their relationship has raised questions from some donors and parishioners who want to know how the Lamberts could have missed signs that Crimmins-Glanville was not ill.
Daniel Lambert attempted to address that concern during a Nov. 22 service, the only time he has spoken publicly about the issue.
“None of us could have ever imagined that everything was being made up,” he said. “We trusted, we gave, we tried to obey the Lord, and now that it’s over, I am really struggling not to feel like an absolute fool.”
Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said that at this point there is no indication that anyone other that Crimmins-Glanville was complicit in the scheme, but added that what figures to be a lengthy investigation was still in the very early stages. As of Dec. 14, FCSO had conducted at least eight interviews, served at least two search warrants and been granted a half-dozen or so subpoenas.
“A lot of what we have determined through these interviews is that there was a lot of energy put into living this,” Heino said. “You see information where they’re going to the hospital, going for medical treatment, they have no hair, all of those things take away the red flags from (suspecting) it’s a lie … To live the life and do these type of things, it’s shocking to us as investigators.”
Lambert intimated on Nov. 22 that Crimmins-Glanville had faked seizures and engaged in self-harm to create bruises and other wounds, but refrained from sharing much detail about how Crimmins-Glanville was able to purportedly pull off her deception. He later told church members they “don’t need to know” all the details of what happened.
The alleged fraud was revealed not long after Daniel Lambert posted on Facebook that an “obvious healing miracle” had occurred and Crimmins-Glanville’s pacemaker, which she received while awaiting a life-saving heart transplant, was vanished by God. It was that news, delivered on Jan. 6, that prompted skeptical witnesses to contact law enforcement. The case languished for months, Heino said, because there was little actionable evidence, before the church’s public acknowledgement of the fraud last month.
Daniel Lambert closed on Nov. 22 by sternly asking congregants to keep their questions and comments in-house, saying “we will not be dealing with this anymore in public gatherings” and warning them not to “shoot one of our wounded.” He did say that if members wanted to talk him or his wife individually, they would be “open and transparent” with anyone who had questions. Vicki and Daniel Lambert did not respond to the Beacon’s requests to answer questions for this story.
The Lamberts briefly returned from sabbatical to speak on Nov. 22 but have now apparently returned to that sabbatical. An Easthaven administrator said the church “did not want to comment” on whether or not they had been contacted by law enforcement, how long the Lamberts would be on sabbatical and whether or not the church was considering discipline against the pastor and his wife.
A brief statement on the church’s website says, in part, “our senior pastor, his wife, and the wider church body have unwittingly been deceived regarding the medical condition, diagnosis, and treatment pertaining to one of our church members. More specific details will be released at a later time.”
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.