It's been depicted in fictional movies like "21 Jump Street" and "Never Been Kissed" — adults undercover in high school. But police say one 34-year-old Texas woman turned a movie plot into a double life when she posed as a sophomore student and got away with it for nearly a year.
"Charity Johnson claimed she was 15 years old, posing as a high school sophomore in East Texas. Police say she is actually 34, and they have charged her with giving false or fictitious information." (Via CNN)
Johnson is now behind bars after this woman, Tamica Lincoln, called police.
The story begins and ends with Lincoln, who took Johnson in after hearing her fabricated backstory using the name Charity Stevens — and a bogus age. The two first met while working together at a local McDonald's.
REPORTER: "Tamica Lincoln said she acted as Johnson's parental guardian since March of 2013."
LINCOLN: "She gave me the same story about being abused by her biological father, then he passed away, and her biological mother is dead." (Via WDAF)
Neither Lincoln nor authorities can explain what would have driven the 34-year-old to create this elaborate plan to head back to high school.
Stuart Newlin, principal of New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, spoke to ABC and said Johnson looked like a teenager, had friends at school and even completed homework. From the start, Johnson came in with a guardian and said she was previously home-schooled, so there was initially no reason to be suspicious.
"Usually, parents come in, they fill out the paperwork, and we take their word for it. If they come from another school, you transfer records. If they come from home-school, they don't have those records." (Via ABC)
According to WJBK, Johnson's story unraveled when she attempted to enroll in a group for needy children.
"Her caretaker discovered she might be lying about her age after she tried to join a group for needy children. That organization ran a background check and made the discovery." (Via WJBK)
KLTV says Johnson's double life extended online through frequent social media use. The outlet says she fooled everyone from students to teachers, her guardian, co-workers, and even her 23-year-old boyfriend, who thought she was 18. She's currently being held at the Gregg County Jail on a $500 bond.