A Georgia woman has been charged with taking more than $49,000 from an equity line linked to her stepfather’s estate in North Carolina.

The Times-News of Burlington reported 49-year-old Melissa Dawn Ruffell of Kingsland, Ga., has been charged with identity theft, obtaining property by false pretenses, felony accessing computers and failure to produce a will.

Alamance County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tim Britt said Ruffell was found in Georgia and taken to jail in North Carolina.

Ruffell had been caring for her stepfather, James T. Isley of Graham, who died in 2008. Most of the estate went to his daughter in New York.

Ruffell is accused of using her position after Isley’s death to access the equity line on his home.

It was not clear if she has an attorney.

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