UPDATE: Preliminary hearings scheduled in bizarre fraud case - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Three charged in bizarre Portage County case

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Investigators say they've finished searching for clues at the last known address of a woman missing for 30 years.

The Portage County Sheriff's Department reports that they collected several small bone fragments at the Amherst Junction home where police believe 100-year-old Marie Jost was buried. She and her son Theodore Jost have been missing since the 1980's.
Authorities have used cadaver dogs and even excavators to search for evidence.

Three of Jost's family members have been charged with fraudulently cashing Jost's social security checks. 69-year-old Delores Disher is due to appear in court Friday afternoon.

The bone fragments have been sent to Madison for testing.

The sheriff's department also released two photos. One shows Marie Jost in approximately 1980. The other shows Theodore Jost in the late 1950's.

As investigators dig deeper into the disappearance of Marie Jost, they say the details become even more bizarre.

"In all of my years here I have never been on a case like this one," Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said.

"The timeline is what is most bizarre, that this woman has been gone for decades and no one knew," Capt Dale O'Kray from the Portage County Sheriff's Department said. 

Portage County authorities believe 100-year-old Marie Jost is dead, and could be buried in her backyard. Now, investigators are saying new pieces of machinery, like excavators, could help them find her.

"We started digging with shovels and couldn't find anything, so we are hoping that this stuff will help us dig deeper to find what we can," Capt. O'Kray said.

For week, authorities say search dogs have been on the family's property and dog handlers believe there are human remains there. But, they say no bones have been found.

"We will continue to search the property until we firmly believe that we have searched everywhere and there is nothing we could have missed," Capt. O'Kray said.

Meantime, three of Marie Jost's family members have been officially charged in Portage County court. They're accused of fraudulently cashing Marie's social security checks for more than 30 years and keeping the money for themselves.

"We have a lot of information to go through, a lot to get done as we progress in this case," Isherwoods explained.

Lawyers representing Charles Jost asked for a hearing to see if he's mentally able to stand trial. None of the defense lawyers wanted to comment on camera.

The Disher's will appear in court on Friday. A date for Charles' competency hearing has not yet been set. 

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