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Denver caretaker steals $13K engagement ring & credit cards from 86 year old woman dying of coronavirus

Elizabeth Daniels and Barbara Gust
Pictured, Elizabeth Daniels, and Barbara Gust Denver woman.
Elizabeth Daniels and Barbara Gust
Pictured, Elizabeth Daniels, and Barbara Gust Denver woman.

Barbara Gust Denver elderly woman dying of coronavirus has $13K engagement ring and credit cards stolen by Elizabeth Daniels, temp caretaker hired by elderly home. 

Why would a caretaker betray a dying patient…?

An eldercare worker has been accused of stealing an 86-year-old Denver woman’s engagement ring and credit cards in the days before she died of the coronavirus, local prosecutors said.

Elizabeth Daniels, 29, of Aurora allegedly pocketed Barbara Gust’s $13,000 diamond ring and brought it to a pawn shop as the memory loss patient suffered from the illness at The Carillon at Belleview Station retirement community, according to the Denver District Attorney’s office and KMGH-TV.

Daniels is also accused of having made several purchases with Gust’s credit cards on April 15, the day the elderly woman died, prosecutors said.

‘We were unable to have any access to her for four weeks, and then we found out she had the virus, which is just heartbreaking,’ Gust’s daughter-in-law told KDVR. ‘[Daniels] should not have had access to vulnerable people at a time of crisis like this, where her own family couldn’t reach her, but a thief could.’

Gust had been in the memory care unit at the facility leading up to her contracting COVID-19.

Family members noticed activity on the 86 year old woman’s credit card on the day she died:

It wasn’t until the family started making arrangements with the funeral home that they noticed the engagement ring that the 86 year old woman had normally worn was now missing. The woman’s daughter in law reported the missing jewelry item to Denver Police Department, according to prosecutors.

Detectives secured an arrest affidavit for Daniels that same day after they were able to trace her engagement ring to a pawn shop that the caretaker had pawned days ahead. 

Notice of misuse of Gust’s credit cards came after her daughter in law noticed, ‘there had been activity’ on several of her cards after Gust died.

The Denver Channel reported in one instance Daniels having charged $200 onto a credit card from an Englewood auto shop.

Daniels was charged April 22 with theft from an at-risk person, identity theft, providing a false statement to a pawnbroker and criminal possession of a financial transaction device, prosecutors said.

Daniels was hired as a temporary worker at The Carillon through a temp agency because of the growing number of coronavirus cases at the facility, according to KMGH.

As of Wednesday, 17 residents at Carillon at Belleview Station had tested positive for the virus and six residents had died. Eleven staffers have tested positive there and two are presumed to have the virus.

Daniels is scheduled to reappear in court on June 22.