"The lies started to compound:" Wisconsin Dells woman steals identity of Milwaukee woman

REEDSBURG, Wis. -- A Wisconsin Dells woman is charged with stealing the identity of a Milwaukee woman. But the theft she's accused of could have been a life or death proposition.

Police say 40-year-old Jennifer Browne from the Dells stole the nursing license number of a Milwaukee woman -- and used it to gain employment as a registered nurse at Reedsburg Area Medical Center in May.

Jennifer Browne

Browne is charged with identity theft and four counts of obstructing an officer.

Tim Becker, Reedsburg Police Chief

"And the lies started to compound to the degree where they were overlapping to such a degree that we were able to bring those back to her and then she just cut off all communication with us," said Tim Becker, Reedsburg Police Chief.

According to the criminal complaint, those lies ranged from convoluted explanations of why the nursing license number and her name don't match -- to why the schools she listed as attending have no record of her graduating.

"Normally, we've had situation where people would be untruthful to us for a while, maybe an hour. Maybe two hours. But then eventually tell us what's happening when confronted with the amount of evidence we have against them," Becker said.

Reedsburg Area Medical Center

The medical center fired Browne in August when hospital employees brought up concerns about her work.

It turns out the medical center was not the only one seemingly deceived. Browne worked as an RN about six months at a Wausau health center before going to Reedsburg.

Police have lost contact with Browne, but hope she will arrive for her court appearance next month.