Sheriff: Woman fakes identity to gain property, investigation ongoing

Sheriff: Woman fakes identity to gain property, investigation ongoing

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Laurel woman who faked her identity to gain property from a widow she was taking care of could face more charges.

The Jones County Sheriff's Department said the investigation is ongoing.

The sheriff's department and the Jones County coroner asked a private lab to do toxicology and and produce full autopsy results of the widow.

These autopsy results could indicate whether Dearman will face more charges.

Backstory

This is a news release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department 

Judy Pitts Dearman, 62 of Laurel, was hired in early 2014 as a caretaker for an elderly couple in Jones County.  Some months passed and the elderly husband passed away, leaving Dearman to care for the widow.  Dearman moved in with the woman to continue caring for her.

On Sept. 1, Dearman went to a local attorney, presented herself as the victim and created a last will and testament, leaving everything to the caretaker, Dearman's actual identity.

The papers were drawn and Dearman paid for the legal fees using the victim's checking account. Thirty-six hours later, the victim passed away.

Dearman immediately took possession of the property, which had an estimated value of $150,000.

After the victim's death, family members went to her residence to check on the property when Dearman met them at the door, presented them with the falsified will and told them to "get off my property."

The family quickly made contact with an attorney, who in turn contacted the Jones County Sheriff's Department.

An investigation began.

Dearman was served a search warrant at the victim's residence, taken into custody and transported to the Jones County Adult Detention Center.

She was charged with Felony False Pretense/Fraud and Felony Fraudulent Use of Identity.

Other charges are pending.

Dearman's bond was set at $50,000.  Dearman faced one charge of felony false pretense, and was given a $25,000 bond. She faced an additional charge of fraud and felony fraudulent use of identity and was given a second $25,000 bond.