73-year-old Boone County resident Walter Sartory was a retired mathematician who was described as a recluse. Friends say he had a social anxiety disorder and spent most of his time in his Hebron home.
Last year, housekeeper Willa Blanc started cleaning Sartory's home. Authorities say she somehow was able to get herself authorized to withdraw funds from Sartory's accounts. Within the past month, she had withdrawn thousands of dollars. In the meantime, Sartory had disappeared.
Last weekend, authorities found charred human remains in a wooded area in Indiana. They believe those remains belong to Sartory. Willa Blanc and her son Louis Wilkinson have been arrested and are each charged with kidnapping, theft and abuse of a corpse.
Police believe Blanc orchestrated a scheme that enabled her to steal thousands of dollars from Sartory. Her husband said he last saw Sartory on February 19th when his wife was bringing him into their basement. He said that she him Sartory was ill and didn't like people. Her husband did not investigate and he is not facing any charges.
Blanc and her son then headed to Indiana to visit friends. They were hauling a 50 gallon barrel which they claim was full of firewood. But when they arrived in Indiana, they told friends it contained the body of a friend's dog and asked them to help them burn it in the woods.
Forensic anthropologists are still working to identify the remains but authorities say they are 99.9% certain they belong to Sartory.
If convicted, Blanc and her son could receive the death penalty.