Deputies: Couple Stole from Family Member with Alzheimer's Disease

Tonight the Department of corrections is investigating after an inmate was found stabbed to death at Ridgeland Correctional Institution. The medium security prison that houses only men is located in Jasper County.

An Orangeburg County couple is charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult family member after misusing funds from the 65-year-old woman's retirement account, according to Orangeburg deputies.

Tod and Melissa Sturkie of Neeses are charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Patrick Sturkie is also charged with breach of trust over $10,000.

According to investigators, Tod Sturkie had power of attorney for a 65-year-old family member, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. The Sturkies are accused of using more than $25,000 from the victim’s account for personal use  during a 10-month period between April 2015 and February 2016, according to warrants.

Deputies say a family member alerted the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office that the victim was being taken advantage of in her current physical state.

The Sturkies are facing a maximum of five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and restitution to the victim.

Both have been released on a personal recognizance bond - $5,000 for Melissa Sturkie and $20,000. 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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