Police: Nurse stole elderly patient's fortune - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/18/06

Police: Nurse stole elderly patient's fortune

DECATUR - Age robs people of many things. Trust shouldn't be one of them.

But registered nurse Debra Warren faces charges of that she stole nearly $200,000-a lifetime of savings-from elderly nursing home patient Louise Fuller.

"From mother's perspective, she was taking care of her and couldn't do enough for her," said Joe Fuller, the alleged victim's son. "She felt like she was an angel."

Warren befriended Louise Fuller at Governor's Ridge assisted living center in Decatur.

Police say the nurse has confessed to forging checks, stealing credit cards and even cashing in the 88-year-old woman's life insurance policy.

Warren's alleged actions went unoticed until Joe Fuller took over his mother's finances in May.

"I think she was just going off and buying anything she wanted with this woman's money," said Decatur police Chief Rex Hoskins.

Warren paid off Fuller's bills, and police said she made generous donations to the elderly woman's church every month. But for the most part, police said Fuller didn't have any idea how much money Warren-whom police describe as a classic compulsive spender-had taken.

Police said Warren used some of the pilfered cash to pay property taxes on her Wise County home, and she purchased several horses.

Investigators are looking for other assests to help rebuild some of Fuller's savings, but they admit that most of her fortune might be gone for good.

"It was probably one of the worst things you can do-taking advantage of an elderly person that is sick," Chief Hoskins said.

Decatur police said Warren would be arrested within the next few days.

It will take the Fullers much longer to put this behind.

"We've always known there's bad people out there," Joe Fuller said. "You just don't recognize them when you see them."

 

By REBECCA RODRIGUEZ / WFAA-TV

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