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Woman learns of identity theft when doctor tells her she's pregnant

Rhonda Proffitt, of Asheville, is cleaning up her record after her identity was stolen last fall by a pregnant woman. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

An Asheville woman is cleaning up her record after her identity was stolen last fall by a pregnant woman.

Rhonda Proffitt went to the doctor in October. To her surprise, they asked her how her baby was.

"They was like 'you're fixing to have the baby,'" Proffitt said. "And I was like, no ... there's no baby. I'm not pregnant whatsoever."


The mixup continued the next month, when Proffitt began getting medical bills for emergency transport from the Madison County Sheriff's Office to Mission Hospital in August. She received another invoice for an OB/GYN visit that same month.

Proffitt was unable to get a job as a cashier at a local grocery store because her background check came back with multiple felonies -- and she knew she had no criminal record.

"I was mad about the whole situation," Proffitt said. "I wanted a job right then and there because I needed the money, and I couldn't get the job. I had to wait, and there was a long waiting period."

According to deputies at the Madison County Sheriff's Office and warrants filed by Asheville police, a woman using the name and date of birth of Rhonda Kay Proffitt was arrested on outstanding warrants from Tennessee for stealing a food truck.

When detectives searched her fingerprints in a nationwide database, they learned the woman booked under the name Rhonda Kay Proffitt was actually Eleanor Black.

Black had "a lengthy criminal record in several states" with "multiple aliases and social security number, including the name Rhonda Proffitt," according to warrants.

While at the detention center, deputies say Black was "several months pregnant" and was transported to Mission Hospital in early August for medical treatment.

Once Proffitt realized the bills were for someone else, and her background check came up wrong, she knew something was up.

"My job coach first got hold of APD, but it was out of their hands," Proffitt said. "They were confused about whole situation. She called Madison County, and they were confused, too, but somehow they got it straightened out."

Asheville police issued a warrant for Black last week for felony identity theft, but those charges will have to wait. Johnson City Police said Eleanor Black is still in jail in Washington County, Tennessee.

She will make her court appearance there on the food truck theft charges on May 19.

Police said there are warrants for her arrest in multiple states on the East Coast, including New York.

Sources say Black had a baby girl last fall, and her daughter is now in the care of family members.

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