PD: Suspect posed as dead woman to rent home

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 23:36:33-05

CINCINNATI -- Sandy Dickerson, a 66-year-old grandmother, nurse and church volunteer, died of cancer in April 2016. Four months later, she rented a home.

A check written in Dickerson’s name was used to rent from Vinebrook Homes in August. According to police, the perpetrator was Ashlee Steele, 31, who impersonated Dickerson and attempted to spend more than $1,500 of the late woman’s money to lease a home.

Charles Dickerson, Sandy’s husband, said he was shocked and frightened to learn that his late wife’s identity had been co-opted -- and that someone tried to get away with stealing from their joint bank account.

"It makes me sick," he said. "I called my brother, I called my son, I called my daughter … and they are just flabbergasted. How did she get it? I don’t think my home has been broken into."

The Dickersons missed their 48-year anniversary by months, Charles Dickerson said, and he was heartbroken to learn that someone had attempted to impersonate “a perfectly great woman” who was incredibly giving in life.

"Even after she died, it was her wish that her body be donated to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center," he said.

Charles Dickerson said his computer was hacked in September, forcing him to change his bank account numbers and get new checks to protect himself from theft and fraud, but that was after the identity theft occurred.

Steele has been charged with identity fraud, according to Hamilton County authorities.