Authorities say important evidence involved in a bizarre case in Portage County has provided no help in trying to solve a decades old missing persons case. Authorities say bone fragments found at the home of Marie Jost have come up inconclusive. Jost was last seen 30 years ago. Today, she'd be 101 years old.
Marie's son, Charles Jost and son-in-law, Ronald Disher are charged with fraudulently cashing her social security checks. The two were scheduled to head to trial for those charges. But now that's changed.
One last string of caution tape is the only thing that remains at Marie Jost's property in Amherst.
Last September, Portage County authorities were contacted by the Social Security Administration asking them to check on Marie Jost. When they arrived, authorities say Marie was nowhere to be found.
"There was obviously something not right there," said Captain Dale O'Kray of the Portage County Sheriff's office.
After an investigation, Charles Jost and Ronald Disher were charged with fraud and forgery. Prosecutors say they cashed Marie Jost's social security checks for more than 30 years. But where was Marie?
"We talked with everyone that had any connection to them," explained O'Kray.
Nothing came up. So, investigators searched the property. The entire plot was stacked with trash, from floor to ceiling.
"It was shocking and surprising," said O'Kray.
Investigators say they found bone fragments in the backyard. But that turned up inconclusive. Now, the property looks a lot different.
"A lot of clean up went in from a lot of different places. Things had to be sorted and separated, recyclables, garbage... everything," said O'Kray.
Meanwhile, Charles Jost and Ronald Disher are in jail. They were set for a jury trial next month on those fraud charges but prosecutors say a plea hearing has been scheduled instead.
"We've had to sift through a lot of documents, a lot of evidence to get to this point," said Portage County District Attorney Louis Molepske.
Even though this case is expected to wrap up soon, investigators say their work to uncover what happened to Marie Jost will continue.
The plea hearings against Charles Jost and Ronald Disher are scheduled in a few weeks.