SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) A Chilean woman who once made the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most prolific mother with 58 children was in fact a fraud, according to a police investigation.
Leontina Espinoza, who died in 1988 at age 66, gave birth to only 16 of the people she claimed as her children, Chilean newspapers quoted police inspector Cristina Rojo as saying in Saturday editions. Others were given to her by poor women or her cousins, Rojo said.
"Her idea was to collect the food assistance" that the government grants to large, poor families, said Rojo, who led the investigation.
According to police, one of the children registered by Espinoza as her own was in fact the daughter of her husband, Gerardo Albina, with a granddaughter of the couple.
Rojo said Albina, whose whereabouts are unknown, may face incest charges
Espinoza won instant fame in 1983 when a newspaper reported that she registered her 55th son. She quickly attracted the international media attention.
The Guinness Book of Records in 1983 entered her as the world's most prolific woman but removed her a few years later when it became clear that she could not prove her claim of such a large number of children.
Espinoza often insisted that she had had several sets of twins and triplets.