2 Women Accused of Stealing Car, Jewelry From Ex-Mouseketeer Found Dead in Home
No one has yet been charged in the disappearance or death of Dennis Day, 76, who starred on the Disney TV show in the 1950s
Nearly a month after authorities confirmed the death of missing former child actor and original Mouseketeer Dennis Day, two woman have been charged in the alleged theft of his car in which they were riding days after he was last seen.
No one has yet been accused in the disappearance or death of Dennis Day, who apparently vanished after walking down his driveway on July 17, 2018, in Phoenix, Oregon, on his way to visit friends, reports local station KOBI-TV.
But according to the Mail Tribune, warrants issued last week accuse Wanda Diane Garcia, 57, of Medford, and Lori Ann Declusin, 34, of White City, of felony unauthorized use of Day’s 1990s model Ford Escort after they were stopped in the vehicle last July 26.
In addition, Garcia is charged with first-degree theft after allegedly taking and selling a brooch on July 19 that belonged to Day, reports the outlet.
Police said Day was not familiar with either woman.
The State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed last month that a body found April 6 at the Phoenix home shared by Day, 76, and his husband, Ernie Caswell, belonged to the child star, Capt. Timothy Fox of the Oregon State Police previously told PEOPLE.
Authorities said it took some time for them to identify the remains because of their poor condition, which prevented them from using dental records or DNA.
Caswell suffers from “age-related memory loss” and has been living at a care facility, Fox previously told PEOPLE. Prior to Day’s disappearance, Caswell had fallen in the couple’s home and been hospitalized, and reported his husband missing after he realized that Day had not been to visit him in several weeks, according to Day’s family.
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Police reportedly told Day’s sister, Nelda Adkins, that a roommate who shared the couple’s home said that when Day last was seen, he was traveling on foot to visit friends.
“Ernie was in the hospital at that time … [s]o he had someone from the hospital call the police,” Adkins told NBC News.
According to the criminal charge, Garcia, Declusin and a third person were allegedly stopped July 26 driving Day’s car. No arrests were made at the time but Garcia was cited for driving with a suspended license and the car was impounded, reports the Mail Tribune.
Garcia pleaded not guilty to the charges related to Day but remained in the Jackson County jail Monday with bail listed at $20,000, according to online records.
Declusin also entered a plea of not guilty and was released on her own recognizance, reports KOBI.
Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club first aired from 1955-1959. According to the Mail Tribune, Day was a Mouseketeer from 1956-57 and a “long-time entertainer and director for the California Renaissance Pleasure Faires & Dickens Fair.”