MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – Charges have been filed against a woman who police say stole nearly $70,000 from her elderly mother, who she was recently reunited with after being adopted years ago.
Midwest City police tell News 4 they were first made aware of the case back in February when they were contacted by Adult Protective Services.
"It looked like her actual healthcare, she was not being mistreated or anything,” Maj. Bob Cornelison with Midwest City PD said.
The 88-year-old victim, in this case, may not have been physically abused, however when it comes to her finances, that’s a different story.
"Apparently, she had reconnected with a daughter she had given up for adoption years ago,” Cornelison said.
Not too long after that, Cornelison said the victim’s long-lost daughter, 55-year-old Melodie Ezell, became her caretaker and moved her mom into her home.
"Eventually what happened was the bank noticed that large portions of her money was missing out of her checking and savings account,” Cornelison said.
The money allegedly started disappearing back in 2018. Now, more than a year later, $69,000 is gone.
According to police, Ezell stole the money to make some big purchases.
"She was purchasing gifts for other family members, Christmas gifts and just everyday gifts, but the big purchase was a new car and a rental car before the new car,” Cornelison told News 4.
Exploitation by a caretaker charges, which are a felony, against Ezell have now been filed in Oklahoma County. Police are just waiting for an arrest warrant to be issued.
Cornelison said, unfortunately, this kind of crime happens a lot more often than most people realize.
"This one was brought to our attention, and I don't know what the statistics are, but I'm sure for everyone one that comes to our attention there are, you know, several that we never hear about,” he said.
Cornelison said other family members of the victim are now taking over her finances and have moved her into a nursing home.