SLIDELL, LA (WAFB) - Deputies have arrested a 29-year-old man accused of stealing more than $4,000 from a scholarship fund set up to honor a young woman who died in a car crash.
According to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Jonathan Lee Holcomb was arrested and is charged with felony theft. The Mississippi-native reportedly works in Slidell and helped to establish a fundraising walk/run for the Haley Howard memorial.
"After a four-day search last March the body of Northshore High School graduate and University of New Orleans student Haley Howard was located when her submerged vehicle was pulled from the Irish Bayou on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain," officials said in a press release. "Following her death, Howard's friends and family established a scholarship fund in her memory and a fundraising run/walk was held April 6 to benefit that fund."
Investigators say Holcomb was "instrumental" in setting up the fundraising event. Although an account was opened at the Whitney Bank on Gause Blvd in Slidell, organizers later learned that $4,340.17 was removed from the account in June 2014.
"An investigation into the missing funds revealed Holcomb had withdrawn the money from the account by way of checks, cash withdrawals and electronic transfers," officials noted. "Some of the electronic transfers were made to Holcomb's own personal bank account from the 'Haley Howard Scholarship Fund' account, where the funds were then withdrawn as cash by Holcomb himself."
Holcomb was later questioned and reportedly admitted to the theft. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
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