Friday, October 12, 2007

Daughter admits to dumping mother's body, cashing retirement checks

Katie Fretland

Sentinel Staff Writer

3:40 PM EDT, October 12, 2007


The daughter of an 83-year-old woman has admitted to dumping the elderly woman's body on the side of a clay road after her death and cashing two of her retirement checks, Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. John Herrell said.

The decomposing remains of the elderly woman, identified Thursday as Jeanne Vasa of Umatilla, were found Sept. 30 in west Lake County near Okahumpka.

Her daughter, 53-year-old Debra Loreth of Umatilla, told detectives that she dumped her mother's body in hopes she would be discovered and given a proper burial, Herrell said. The Sheriff's Office is requesting a warrant for her arrest on misdeamoner charges of improper disposal of a body and the Office of Inspector General might take over the suspected fraud case, Herrell said.

The recently cashed checks belonged to Vasa and were railroad retirement checks, said Detective Clay Watkins said. Investigators were trying to determine whether the checks were cashed before or after her death. An exact time of death has not been determined. Investigators said Vasa died between two weeks and two months before she was found.

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