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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bogus checks amount to grave robbery

Account holder died in fire last year

March 31, 2004

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Someone is forging checks that belonged to a 77-year-old Eudora woman killed in a fire in February 2003, police said Tuesday.

Four checks belonging to Naomi Kidd have surfaced in Lawrence in the past week at businesses including fast-food restaurants and downtown merchants, said Sgt. Mike Pattrick, a Lawrence Police spokesman. The checks are from both Kidd's personal account and a church scholarship fund for which Kidd was treasurer.

A business that received one of the checks and Kidd's bank alerted the police.

"I'm just floored," said the Rev. Reginald Bachus, pastor at First Regular Missionary Baptist Church, 1646 Vt., where Kidd served as treasurer of a scholarship fund.

Bachus said the bank account for which Kidd was treasurer had been closed for several years, though the scholarship -- named in honor of the church's longest-serving pastor, A.L. Parker -- still exists.

Kidd died Feb. 6, 2003, of smoke inhalation in a fire at her home at Ninth and Ash streets in Eudora. Bachus said Kidd lived a private lifestyle and questioned how someone could have gained access to her checks, especially because her home had been so badly damaged.

Police suspect two Lawrence women and a Lawrence man in the forgeries, but no arrests have been made, Pattrick said. He said officers expected more forgeries to be reported in coming days.

Anyone with information about the forgeries can call the Crime Stoppers hot line at 843-TIPS. Callers remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.



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