A man hired to remove the body of an elderly woman from her Dunedin home was arrested Thursday after deputies said they caught him stealing her jewelry.
Deputies responded to a death investigation just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Inside the home at 1701 Pinehurst Road they found the body of Maryellen Woods, 88, who had died of natural causes.
A man employed by Alternate Transport Service arrived to take her body to a funeral home.
As Terrance Stubblefield, 44, of St. Petersburg, worked to remove the body, deputies saw a necklace hanging from his pocket. A deputy tried to stop Stubblefield, but he ignored the demand and put the necklace in his vehicle. He said it was his girlfriend's.
Deputies photographed the necklace and other jewelry found in Stubblefield's pocket. They showed the photo to the dead woman's daughter, who confirmed the jewelry was her mother's.
Stubblefield then admitted stealing the jewelry, valued at about $1,000, from a dresser, deputies said. He was charged with grand theft and held at the Pinellas County Jail on $2,000 bail.