Bluff City hospice worker, boyfriend wanted in jewelry theft

Rain Smith • Oct 26, 2012 at 3:19 AM

A Bluff City hospice worker and her boyfriend are wanted by police after allegedly stealing jewelry from a Bristol resident who the woman was hired to care for.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office is currently searching for Derita Bowman, 37, of 257 Coristus Drive No 1, Bluff City, and Jared Couch, 33, of 325 Stoney Hollow Road, Bluff City. Police say Bowman had been hired to provide in-home hospice care at the victim's home on Camelot Drive in Bristol, where Couch was also staying.

On Oct. 5 a daughter of the victim contacted police to report jewelry as missing, naming the couple as suspects. The complainant had reportedly located some of the jewelry at Interstate Gold and Silver in Bristol, Va., while follow up investigation by detectives was able to obtain a sales receipt from the business. That receipt allegedly listed Couch as the seller.

In a subsequent interview with police Bowman allegedly admitted to selling the rest of the jewelry at the Bluff City Flea Market. She reportedly claimed the woman she was hired to care for and her daughter had given her the jewelry, which the daughter has denied. Since the thefts were reported the victim has passed away.

Warrants have been issued for Couch and Bowman charging them both with theft over $1,000. Detectives are attempting to locate both suspects, asking anyone with information on their whereabouts to call police at (423) 279-7500. Tips can also be submitted online by visiting www.scsotn.com and clicking the tip submit icon.

Police say Bowman was hired to care for the woman approximately two weeks prior to the thefts. She was an independent hospice worker and not affiliated with any hospital or hospice organization.

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