A self-proclaimed "cousin" of the boy who fell off a drop tower ride and died in Orlando last month was actually a total stranger, according to the boy's family.
The bizarre twist comes two weeks after Tyre Sampson, 14, fell off the Orlando Free Fall ride and died at ICON Park In Orlando.
A woman identifying herself as his "cousin," Shay Johnson, spoke to several news outlets after Sampson's death, reported the Orlando Sentinel. She told CNN and many other outlets that she'd been on the phone with him before his fatal fall. She also led a vigil for the boy, joined several news conferences and even launch a petition to get the ride shut down, WFTV reports.
However, the boy's mom recently told police that the woman is not related to them, the Sentinel and WFTV report.
"She does not know who Shay Johnson is," an officer told the paper.
The woman's employer, a gentleman's club called Flash Dancers, says it fired her last Thursday after learning about her hoax.
"I feel terrible about it," the club owner told the Sentinel, adding that her actions were "unconscionable."
Sampson fell off ICON Park's 430-foot-tall ride on March 24, and an investigation is still underway to determine what happened.
The Missouri teen was visiting Orlando with his football team when the fall happened.
It turns out that Sampson may have been too heavy to be allowed on the ride, according to its safety manual and his weight reported by his dad.
"Johnson" claimed afterward that she spoke to Sampson on the phone while he was at the park, and told a story about how he was allegedly turned away from two rides before he got on the one where he died.
She also held a demonstration in front of the ride while sporting a shirt with Sampson's photo on it and his football jersey number on the back.
Her real name is reportedly Lewishena Browning.
No charges have been filed against her as of Tuesday afternoon.