Ex-Social Employee, 32, Pretended to Be a Boston Excessive College Pupil, Police Say


At English Excessive College, she glided by Ellie. At Jeremiah E. Burke Excessive College, she launched herself as Daniella.

However the authorities have now realized that Ellie and Daniella have been the aliases for Shelby Hewitt, a 32-year-old former state social employee who they are saying posed as a highschool scholar at three Boston public colleges — the place she gossiped with youngsters throughout lunch and complained about homework.

On Tuesday, she was charged with three counts of forgery of paperwork, two counts of false writing and one rely of id fraud in West Roxbury Division Boston Municipal Courtroom, data present.

Ms. Hewitt — who enrolled beneath completely different aliases within the 2022-2023 faculty yr at English, Jeremiah E. Burke, and Brighton Excessive colleges by forging paperwork — had not been arrested as of Thursday, in response to the Boston Police Division, which declined to reply questions in regards to the case.

Ms. Hewitt intermittently labored as a social employee on the Massachusetts Division of Kids and Households from 2016 till February 2023, the division mentioned. The division didn’t say why Ms. Hewitt was not employed. She couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Thursday and it was unclear if she had a lawyer.

Mary Skipper, the Boston Public College superintendent, instructed dad and mom in regards to the id fraud case in a observe on June 20, saying that Ms. Hewitt had been ordered to avoid Boston Public College services.

“Whereas the investigation is in its early phases and stays ongoing, faculty officers haven’t recognized any incidents of hurt to college students or workers,” Ms. Skipper wrote. “Presently households of scholars who might have interacted with this particular person are being contacted immediately by faculty workers and investigators.”

Ms. Skipper later mentioned in an announcement that she was “deeply troubled” by the state of affairs, calling it an “extraordinarily refined fraud.”

The case troubled dad and mom within the district and confused college students who had come to know Ms. Hewitt beneath completely different names and backgrounds. It’s unclear what might have been Ms. Hewitt’s motive to infiltrate a number of colleges.

Janell Lamons, 15, mentioned in an interview that she met Ms. Hewitt final September at Jeremiah E. Burke Excessive College, the place the 2 would eat lunch collectively on the library. Ms. Hewitt, who claimed to be 16 years previous, instructed Janell that her identify was Daniella, that she was from Colombia and that she was in foster care.

Janell mentioned that whereas Ms. Hewitt gave the impression to be considerably regular as they talked about lecturers and homework, she nonetheless seen unusual conduct. As soon as, she mentioned, Ms. Hewitt introduced a trash bag full of garments to high school and claimed that she was going to a brand new foster house. Generally Ms. Hewitt would “get very emotional” after lecturers instructed her to focus at school and do her work, Janell mentioned.

“She would typically stroll out of sophistication and wander round within the hallways,” Janell mentioned, including that she sometimes noticed Ms. Hewitt crying in school.

College directors took a more in-depth take a look at her enrollment paperwork after a person posing as her father mentioned he could be withdrawing her due to bullying, the police report mentioned.

They seen that one of many enrollment varieties inaccurately referred to the Massachusetts Division of Kids and Households because the “Division of Kids rind Households,” and in addition included different errors. That prompted them to name and ask for the social employee listed on the shape.

The college was instructed by the division that nobody by that identify labored there, the police report states, prompting faculty officers to contact the police.

The authorities executed a search warrant at Ms. Hewitt’s condo on June 15 and located cast paperwork, the police report states.

Mayor Michelle Wu mentioned on WBUR’s Radio Boston that the case was “extraordinarily disturbing.”

“If somebody instructed me that an grownup many many years faraway from being in a few of these age-appropriate settings was again at school — it’s regarding,” Ms. Wu mentioned.

Ms. Hewitt will not be the primary to face expenses associated to impersonating a teen. In March, the authorities mentioned a 29-year-old lady had been pretending to be a teenager at New Brunswick Excessive in New Jersey, in a case that captured the eye of thousands and thousands of individuals on-line. Within the early 2000s, Frédéric Bourdin serially impersonated kids in youth shelters, junior excessive colleges and orphanages all through Europe, The New Yorker reported.

Kirsten Noyes contributed analysis.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *