The three accused of being involved with fraudulently cashing a 100-year-old woman's Social Security checks appeared in court Thursday.
Marie Jost was last seen in 1982.
Three of the woman's family members were arrested. According to the Sheriff's Department, "it appears that Marie's Social Security checks had been fraudulently signed and cashed for several years."
According to the Portage County Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Social Security Administration had asked officers for help in finding Jost and her 74-year-old son Theodore after she didn't answer several letters. Officers went to her Amherst home and found another of Marie's sons, Charles Jost, who told officers his mother and brother Theodore Jost were on a trip.
After searching that home and another in the Village of Almond, officers arrested Charles Jost. They also arrested Ronald and Delores Disher. Delores is Marie's daughter, according to the Sheriff's Department. All three were accused committing forgery or being party to the crime of forgery.
Portage County Sheriff's Department Captain Dale O'Kray tells Newsline 9 that the family members have not been cooperative with authorities. Each person has been telling a different story to investigators, according to O'Kray.
In court Thursday prosecutors said that Social Security checks would be deposited at a bank in Plover and then cashed at a bank in Stevens Point.
Prosecutors also said that neither Marie Jost nor her son Theodore had drivers licenses. Death certificates do not exist for them either. Authorities said they don't have any information on Theodore.
The three appeared by video conference in Portage County Court Thursday afternoon. A judge issued each suspect a $20,000 cash bond. All three will be back in court Sept 24, 2012.
Meanwhile, investigators are still combing Marie Jost's home for clues. Captain O'Kray tells Newsline 9 that authorities have reason to believe Marie Jost may be buried in the backyard of the Amherst home. Investigators have been searching the property using cadaver dogs. O'Kray says the dogs have detected some evidence of human remains. The State Crime Lab is on the scene processing evidence but because the remains are up to 30 years old, the tests may not produce conclusive results.
Neighbors say Charles is the only person they have ever seen living at the residence on Alm Road in Amherst. People who lived next door to him told Newsline 9 he mostly kept to himself and they would occasionally see him walking or riding his bike.
O'Kray anticipates a lengthy investigation because authorities have a lot of evidence to process. He say the home is "like an episode of hoarders" with items packed from floor to ceiling throughout the house. In court Thursday, prosecutors said the Dishers were hoarders and their house had no running water. They also said that Charles Jost's residence was "even worse" calling it "uninhabitable."