Caregiver Accused of Stealing from Mother of Missing Man

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SCRANTON -- A missing persons investigation led detectives to another crime and now, a woman is charged with stealing from an elderly woman in her care.

Investigators found tens of thousands of dollars stolen from an elderly woman while they were investigating an entirely different case.

Sharon Grzenda of Moosic turned herself in Thursday morning at the Lackawanna County Courthouse for allegedly stealing from a woman in her care. That woman, Helen Baron, is the mother of a missing man -- Robert Baron of Old Forge.

Grzenda was hired in 2015 to care for Helen Baron, 86, of Old Forge Grzenda made $1,200 a week cash, paid by Helen's two sons.

But court papers accuse her of taking much more than that -- $36,000 more -- by forging checks from the elderly woman.

"This was discovered by the victim's son," said Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon. "He had learned or heard that his mother may have owed the IRS some money. He believed that had already been paid, causing him to review his mother's accounts and that's where he had learned that the balances were much lower than they should have been."

The Baron family turned the information over to the district attorney whose office was already investigating a Baron family tragedy.

Helen's other son, Robert, vanished back in January

Investigators believe that Robert Baron was injured inside Ghigharelli's, the business in Old Forge the family has owned since the 1960s.

Through working on one case, detectives picked up another. They found Grzenda continued stealing from Helen Baron even after her son went missing.

Court papers show Grzenda used the money to pay for her expenses, health insurance, even landscaping for her family's property.

"You just don't like to see people who are hurting deal with more pain. Obviously, this is stress, fear, pain, anguish for an older woman. You just don't like to see anyone suffer. It adds more to the misery this poor family is already suffering," said Scanlon.

Investigators say they do not believe this is related to the Robert Baron missing person case but it was discovered during that investigation.

Sharon Grzenda was released on$20,000 bail.


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