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Missing EMT surrenders, jailed on felony charges

Posted: 4:08 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-17 05:08:49Z

DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. -- A southeastern Indiana man who vanished last month amid a criminal investigation has surrendered to authorities, according to the Dearborn County Prosecutor's Office.

Craig Whitham, 42, was booked into the Dearborn County jail at 2:59 p.m. Wednesday on felony counts of theft and attempted theft, online jail records indicate.

Whitham works as an emergency medical technician for Aurora Emergency Rescue, a private non-profit company in Aurora, Indiana that makes more than 1,000 runs each year. Whitham has worked there for 22 years, and also served as the company's treasurer for about a year.

Ed Opp, Aurora Emergency Rescue's president, called police last month to report discrepancies in the company's books.

Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said Whitham is suspected of stealing $106,000 from the company, which has an annual budget of about $200,000 funded by riverboat gambling profits, insurance reimbursements and donations.

Whitham was questioned about the money shortly before he disappeared, Aurora Police Chief Josh Daugherty said.

According to an affidavit filed by investigators, Whitham admitted to being responsible; he told police he made unauthorized ATM transactions, wrote checks to himself and paid himself more than his salary by issuing both paychecks and direct deposit payments.

Witham also told police he has a serious gambling addiction and had spent almost all of the money on gambling, mostly at Rising Star Casino, according to the affidavit. He also spent some of the money at Belterra Casino in Vevay, Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg and Harrah Casino in New Albany.

Friends and family worried when Whitham disappeared, leaving behind his cell phone and wallet.

"I thought the worst," former co-worker Amber Pickett said. "That’s just me. I mean, I thought the worst."