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Caretaker accused of taking diamond engagement ring from elderly coronavirus victim

Elizabeth Daniels, 29, has been charged with theft from an at-risk person and identity theft after being accused of stealing from an elderly woman in her care, who died of COVID-19. Denver DA

A Colorado health-care worker has been accused of stealing the engagement ring and credit card of an elderly woman in her care, who eventually died of COVID-19.

The 29-year-old was working at Carillon at Belleview Station care centre when the reported theft occurred, said a press release published by Denver District Attorney Beth McCann.

Global News reached out to the care centre for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication.

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The release alleges that the suspect, providing care to 86-year-old Barbara Gust, stole and pawned the woman’s diamond engagement ring days before Gust’s death.

The suspect is also accused of using the woman’s credit card to make purchases the day Gust died of the virus.

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“As Ms. Gust’s family was making arrangements with the funeral home, they became aware of the alleged theft and reported it to the Denver Police Department,” McCann says in the statement.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus around the world: April 27, 2020' Coronavirus around the world: April 27, 2020
Coronavirus around the world: April 27, 2020

“Detectives assigned to investigate secured the arrest affidavit for Daniels the same day.”

The arrest affidavit says that the family told police the ring was worth between US$20,000 and $25,000.

Elizabeth Daniels, 29, has been 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.

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Daniels first appeared in court on April 22.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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