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Aurora woman stole and pawned ring, used credit cards of woman who died of COVID-19, prosecutors say

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 15:03:48-04

DENVER – A 29-year-old Aurora woman who was working as a temporary health care worker at the Carillon at Belleview Station care center has been accused of stealing the engagement ring of an 86-year-old woman in memory care and then using her credit cards after she died of COVID-19.

Elizabeth Daniels, 29, is charged with theft from an at-risk person, identity theft, providing a false statement to a pawnbroker and criminal possession of a financial transaction device, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

According to the office and to an affidavit for Daniels’s arrest, she allegedly stole the ring and credit cards from 86-year-old Barbara Gust in the days before and of her death, which the district attorney’s office said was a result of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, 17 residents at Carillon at Belleview Station had tested positive for the virus and six residents had died. Eleven staffers have tested positive there and two are presumed to have the virus.

As such, according to the affidavit, Daniels had been hired as a temporary worker at the facility through a temp agency because of the number of positive cases.

According to the affidavit, Gust’s daughter-in-law called police on April 16 to say her mother-in-law had died the morning before and that she and her husband, along with the funeral home, noticed there had been activity on several of her credit cards after Gust died. Gust had been in the memory care unit at the facility

The woman had also visited Gust before she died, after a fall that required hospitalization, and had noticed she was no longer wearing her engagement ring.

The next day, the woman emailed police records of a $200 credit card charge from an Englewood auto shop and a shop employee confirmed that Daniels was who had made the charge.

Detectives then went to the care facility, which confirmed that Daniels had been working there as a temporary employee.

They also found the $13,000 ring at a pawn shop, which identified the person who pawned it as Daniels.

The warrant for her arrest was issued April 20. Daniels was charged April 22. Records show her second advisement is currently scheduled for June 22.