Florence couple speaks out after falling victim to 'Alabama Wedding Crasher'

The couple accepted donations to fight for a cure for FOXG1. Those donations were stolen at their wedding.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 2:42 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2019 6:01 PM

WAAY 31 heard on Tuesday from a Florence couple who claims they fell victim to the "Alabama Wedding Crasher."

Florence police have identified the woman they say is crashing weddings across Tennessee and Alabama, stealing gifts and money. They're not releasing her name, but say she may have crashed nearly a dozen weddings.

June 8th was supposed to be a happy day filled with celebration for Anna and Lee Todd. The couple was married at First Christian Church in Florence. Anna's daughter Aria suffers from a rare genetic disorder named FOXG1. In lieu of wedding gifts, the couple asked for donations to the International FOXG1 Foundation.

The rare genetic disorder Aria, 5, suffers from is one of about 450 cases worldwide. The syndrome is so rare, money for a cure is limited, but Aria's mother, Anna, raises money in hopes of finding one.

"If we don't do it, no one will. We have to advocate for our kids," said Anna Todd. "It's a syndrome that pretty much affects everything from head to toe. Aria has seizures." 

Their wedding day came and guests brought cash and checks, but an uninvited guest showed up too. The Todd family told WAAY 31 the woman identified by police as a suspected wedding crasher came to their wedding and took those donations that were supposed to go to the International FOXG1 Foundation.

"As we were coming in to say our goodbyes and wrap up everything, that's when she snuck in," said Anna Todd.

The church surveillance cameras caught the suspect walking into various rooms and going over by the table where the donations were. The Todd family said at first, they just thought the envelopes with donations were misplaced.

"Our church secretary spent countless hours chasing security footage. My friends went through the garbage. We had so many people losing sleep worried about what happened," said Anna Todd.

The surveillance video showed the suspect possibly leaving with the donations in hand. The cash and checks were about $500, if not more.

"By the time I got over there to hold her and tell her everything would be alright, it turned into rage," said Lee Todd, as he explained the emotions they felt once they knew the donations had been stolen.

What upsets the couple the most is the unnamed suspect took from Aria and other kids who suffer from FOXG1.

"She walked into a sacred day and her presence there has kind of tainted the memories and the whole day," said Anna Todd.

The Todd family said the only way some good can come of this is if more people see this and donate to the International FOXG1 Foundation. If you want to donate, you can click here.

The family also wanted to make people aware that they have no plans of starting a GoFundMe page or any sort of donation page. They want people to donate directly to the International FOXG1 Foundation. 

Florence police said they are gathering more evidence to build a strong case against the suspect. They will release her name when they arrest her.

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