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Woman, 32, accused of trying to enroll as teen student in Greene County

January 03, 2019 11:16 PM

CAIRO - Parents in Cairo are concerned after learning a 32-year-old woman pretended to be a homeless teen to enroll in high school classes.

Michaelann Goodrich told Cairo-Durham School District administrators that she was 15-year-old Riley Madison. She was arrested on the 28th and charged with offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, and criminal trespassing.

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Taibi said Goodrich did attend one day of classes and rode the bus to and from school on December 20th. He said she was absent on Dec. 21 and holiday break began the following week.

Investigators still don't know why Goodrich tried to enroll in classes at Cairo-Durham High School. District Superintendent Anthony Taibi said administrators immediately felt something was off.

Joel Rowell is a Senior Investigator with the Greene County Sheriff's Department. He's one of the people assigned to the case.

"She could've gone in numerous different ways to obtain a degree and we actually found out through the investigation and that she has a high school diploma,” Rowell said. “So that just leads to our investigation to try to figure out what exactly her motive was for attending school."

Taibi said under the McKinney-Vento Act, the district had to admit the Goodrich immediately because she claimed to be homeless.

NewsChannel 13 spoke with a few parents outside the high school on Thursday evening. Joshua Mack has a daughter in Cairo-Durham Middle School.

"It was kind of unnerving, it could've been anybody you know you hear about school shootings all that, could've been anybody coming in here trying to get plans of the school,” Mack said. “I mean obviously that wasn't the case but it could've been."

Taibi said the district followed federal outlines to a T. He said if anything this highlights some issues with the McKinney-Vento Act. Mack agrees.

"I don't know maybe they need to look into the act a little better maybe find out--not throw her in school right away, find out where she came from, find out what's going on with the family and everything,” Mack said.

Investigators said this is still an active case and they're asking anyone who may have had contact with Goodrich to call the Greene County Sheriff's Office and report it.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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