Denver DA charges woman who allegedly stole from elderly person who died from COVID-19

Elizabeth Daniels was charged after authorities said she stole items from a woman she was caring for, 86-year-old Barbara Gust.

Police lights. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Police lights. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

A 29-year-old Aurora woman faces several charges after authorities said she stole items, including a diamond engagement ring, from an elderly woman who died from COVID-19, according to a release from the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Elizabeth Daniels was charged for allegedly stealing the items from a woman she was caring for, 86-year-old Barbara Gust. Daniels allegedly stole and pawned Gust’s diamond engagement ring several days before Gust died. Her family noticed Gust was no longer wearing the ring after she had been hospitalized.

An arrest affidavit prepared by Denver police said the ring was valued at $13,000. The ring was later recovered at a pawn shop.

Gust was staying at The Carillon at Belleview Station, a senior living facility, on South Niagara Street. The arrest affidavit said Gust’s room was in the memory care wing at the facility, where four other residents had recently died and “a large quantity of the staff” was out sick.

The DA’s release said Daniels allegedly stole Gust’s credit card and used it to make purchases the same day Gust died from the respiratory disease on April 15. Gust’s family became aware of the alleged thefts while they were making funeral arrangements and noticed several charges on Gust’s cards.

Daniels is charged with three felonies, including theft from an at-risk person, identify theft and providing a false statement to a pawnbroker. Daniels is also charged with criminal possession of a financial transaction device, a misdemeanor. Daniels appeared in court for her first advisement on Wednesday.

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