Portage Co. Man Gets 4.5 years Prison in Bizarre Theft Case

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

A 73-year-old Portage County man will spend more than four-half-years in prison after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors in February.

Ronald Disher is convicted of helping his wife and brother-in-law cash Social Security check for his mother-in-law, Marie Jost, who is presumed dead as she was last seen in the 1980, and would be more than 100-years-old.

The Social Security Administration contacted Portage County authorities in 2012 after its efforts to confirm that Marie Jost was still alive went nowhere. She would have celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2012, and has since been presumed dead because she has not used health benefits since the 1980s.

Marie's son, Theodore, more than 75, has also been missing since the 1980s.

On August 30, 2012 Deputies went to Marie's Amherst Junction home and made contact with her son, Charles. He explained that Marie was alive and well and on a trip with her other son [Theodore].

Investigators also questioned Ronald and his wife, Delores Disher at their Almond home.

Deputies say information provided by family members has been inconsistent. Dolores Disher first told investigators she saw her mother less than a year ago. Then she changed her story, saying she hadn't seen her since her sister's funeral in 1980.

In September 2012, the State Crime Lab was at Charles' property. Captain Dale O'Kray from the Portage County Sheriff's Department said cadaver dogs picked up spots of interest, but no human remains have been found. Captain O'Kray says the search for evidence will be slow one, as Charles Jost was a hoarder.

The Portage Sheriff's Department says items believed to be bone fragment were sent for analysis to a lab in Texas, but the results came back as inconclusive.

The three were subsequently charged with theft, mail fraud, forgery, and unauthorized use of an individual's personal document.

Due to medical issues, Delores' charges were dismissed.

Charles Jost was found not by reason of mental defect.

Ronald Disher will receive credit for 593 days already spend in custody.

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