ROSEBURG, Ore. — Just a day after a KEZI report warning people about a potential fraudulent fundraiser, a Drain woman says people are coming forward, saying they gave money.
Austin Lundeen was accidentally shot and killed in August. His mom, Amber Williams, says just six days later, a man from Drain set up a fundraiser using her son’s name and pictures. But, she says it was all a fraud.
A fundraiser for charity is nothing new to Loggers Tap House in Roseburg.
“We’ve done one for Camp Millenium, which is a summer camp for kids with cancer. We just did one for Relay for Life. We did one for Roseburg High School’s band and we have a couple more lined up for February,” said Sam Gross, owner of Loggers Tap House.
So, when Gross was approached about a fundraiser last September for the family of Austin Lundeen, the Drain teenager who was accidentally shot and killed, Gross agreed.
“When he approached me, he said he wanted to sell the jerseys and that his kids went to school with the family’s kids. So, he felt a connection and that’s why he wanted to do a charity for them,” said Gross.
Gross says the man had pictures of Austin and sold raffle tickets for jerseys. Williams says that was September 5th and she went to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office the next day.
“We began an investigation. We did a thorough investigation and compiled a report. We sent that to the district attorney’s office for review and that’s pretty much here it stands at this point,” said Dwes Hutson, public information officer with the sheriff’s office.
“We’d only been open a month and we were excited to do something involving the community. I had no idea it’d turn out like this,” said Gross.
He says he feels for Austin’s family and is there to support them. He adds this will not end their work for charities.
“We started this place because we wanted to do something good in Roseburg and helping charities out is one of those great things we can do,” said Gross.
Gross says he has talked to Williams recently and wants to help in any way possible. Williams says there are no hard feelings towards Loggers.
We also put in a call to the district attorney’s office but didn’t get a response.