Man accused of stealing from, living with dead roommate for the past 4 years, DA says
CHICO, Calif. (Gray News) – A man in California accused of living with the body of his dead roommate for the past four years was charged with identity theft in connection to writing forged checks from his account.
According to the Burke County District Attorney’s Office, family members reported to police in August that they had not seen or heard from Kevin Olson, 64, in about four years.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Olson’s relatives reported they had reached out to his roommate, Darren Pritle, 57, several times over the years, but Pritle always gave various excuses as to Olson’s absences.
From a series of interviews, officers determined Olson was last seen in October 2018.
According to bank records obtained by detectives, United States Navy retirement checks were deposited directly into Olson’s accounts each month, and the mortgage for his home continued to be paid.
Further investigation revealed about 50 checks had been written to Pirtle from the account since July 2019.
Ramsey said detectives compared the writing and signatures on the checks and determined they were forged.
Detectives searched Pritle’s home last week and found Olson’s body on the floor of what had been his back bedroom.
Based on the condition of the body, Ramsey said officers requested the assistance of the Department of Justice Crime Lab in Chico and anthropologists.
Investigators believe Olson died in late 2018. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is pending.
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