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Woman Saved From Cliff Now Faces 96 Felonies

Heather Mounce accused of stealing thousands of dollars, a man's identity
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2018 1:03 PM CDT
File photo of the Oregon coastline.   (Getty Images / Heartwood Films)

(Newser) – Last summer, Heather Mae Mounce was reported missing by her family; her car was found abandoned along Highway 101 in Oregon. After her then-husband ultimately spotted her, four days later, "clinging to bushes" 180 feet down the side of a cliff, a Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted her from the ridge in what KOIN calls a "dramatic" rescue that made headlines. This summer is also dramatic for the 28-year-old Oregon woman, but in a decidedly different way: She has been charged with 96 felonies. Mounce is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the Dallas Retirement Village, Oregon Center for Nursing, and OpenRoad Transportation, the Statesman Journal reports; she's also accused of stealing the identity of an "elderly and dependent" man whom she was caring for, along with $5,000 from him.

She faces 62 counts of identity theft, 24 counts of criminal mistreatment, and 10 other charges; the charges date from September 2013 until July of this year. Authorities have not said whether there is any link to her disappearance in August of last year, but the Polk County District Attorney says an investigation into the case began about a year ago, per the Polk County Itemizer-Observer. Authorities at the time said that she appeared to have left her car of her own free will and that they did not believe she had been abducted. She filed for divorce three months later. Of the charges she faces, the Dallas Retirement Village says in a statement, "We are working closely with the state and Polk County Attorney’s Office in their investigation of this individual and former employee. ... We can assure that she had no access to any personal resident records." (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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