Eau Claire Woman Charged With Felony Theft From A Corpse

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 10:47 am

A Wisconsin Woman could face up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison for the theft of a ring of a deceased woman.

Patricia A. Woodford, 55, of Eau Claire is charged with felony theft from a corpse. Woodford is accused of stealing a ring from the hand of the deceased woman at a visitation at a Menomonie funeral home in August.

The criminal complaint said that Patricia Scott told police investigators that the incident happened during a visitation for her mother, Gladys Patton, on August 18. Members of the family noticed during the final family viewing that a ring that had been on Patton’s finger was gone.

An attempt by the family to have the ring returned anonymously didn’t work.

A witness that was at the visitation told police that Woodford had made remarks about wanting the ring, saying that it was a waste for the ring to be buried. After Woodford returned from viewing the body she acted suspiciously according to the witness. The witness asked Woodford if she had taken it and Woodford smirked and didn’t respond.

Woodford initially denied any knowledge of the theft when a police investigator met with her. She later went into her apartment and returned with the ring.

The criminal complaint also said that Woodford told the officer she took the ring because she was angry that she thought Patton had treated Woodford’s brother poorly. She also said she felt it was a waste to bury the ring.

Woodford made an initial appearance Tuesday in Dunn County Court. She was released on a $500 signature bond and is scheduled to return to court December 27.

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