Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang

Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang

SOMERSET – A Friedens couple accused by state police of faking the birth and death of a baby in order to collect gifts and money from friends and relatives appeared on Tuesday before a Somerset County district judge and waived their rights to preliminary hearings.

Geoffrey Alan Lang, 27, and Kaycee Leigh Lang, 23, both were charged in Somerset County in August with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property, all first-degree misdemeanors, court records indicate.

Each Lang also faces a second set of identical charges that were originally filed in Westmoreland County, where a baby shower for “Easton Walt Lang” was allegedly held earlier this year, before being transferred to Somerset County’s jurisdiction.

Kaycee Lang told state police in August that “Easton” was born at 3:11 a.m. July 3 at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, but died hours later of respiratory distress syndrome, according to an affidavit of probable cause. She then was discharged from the hospital, she allegedly said, because “there was no reason for her to be at the hospital since she did not have a baby anymore.”

However, authorities allege that “Easton” never existed. A state trooper who viewed pictures of “Easton” that had been posted on both Langs’ Facebook pages stated in an affidavit that the subject of the pictures “matched the appearance of a newborn look-alike baby doll.”

Hindman Funeral Home personnel confirmed to police in August that they had not cremated anyone named “Easton Lang,” allegedly contradicting a statement made to police by Geoffrey Lang. In addition, state police have confirmed that there are no records of Easton Lang or Kaycee Lang on file at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, the Cambria County Coroner’s Office or the Somerset County Coroner’s Office, according to the affidavit.

At least six people have told state police that they donated money, groceries or other items to the Langs, either at the baby shower or after the child’s supposed death, according to the affidavit.

During the Langs’ court appearances Tuesday, District Judge Kenneth W. Johnson ordered them not to discuss the case with each other while court proceedings continue.

“I truly thought that maybe I’d get an answer today,” District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said after the Langs left Johnson’s Somerset courtroom. “I don’t have a sensical answer for the question why.”

The Langs’ cases now head to the Somerset County Court of Common Pleas. Both Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang remain free on $10,000 unsecured bond in each set of charges, or $20,000 total. Geoffrey Lang is represented by public defender Tiffany Stanley; Kaycee Lang is represented by attorney David Leake.

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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