Deputies: Hospice aide stole from elderly couple

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TARBORO — A Wilson woman is accused of swindling an elderly Edgecombe County couple out of more than $13,000 while working as an in-home hospice aide.

Edgecombe County sheriff's deputies say 36-year-old Nekeya Denise Jenkins of 905 Macon St. S. was hired to provide hospice care in the couple's home May 26. After six to seven home visits, she allegedly began stealing the patients' personal checks and debit cards.

Jenkins spent $13,596.28 of the couple's money on herself without authorization, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies said the male patient has died due to a terminal illness.

Deputies said Jenkins was employed as a hospice nurse, but the exact nature of her job is unclear. The North Carolina Board of Nursing's online database does not list Jenkins as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or Level II nurse aide. The N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation registers Level I nurse aides but requires the last four digits of a person's Social Security number to search its registry.

If Jenkins is a licensed or registered health care worker, the allegations she faces could cause her to lose required state credentials to work in that capacity. 

The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office on Friday credited Wilson police and Wilson County deputies with assisting in the case and helping to locate Jenkins in her Wilson home. She was jailed in Edgeconbe County under a $40,000 secured bond. 

Jenkins is charged with exploitation of an elder adult, identity theft and two counts each of obtaining property by false pretense and financial card fraud - all felony counts. She also has a pending charge of felony larceny by employee in Wilson County.

Records show Jenkins is due in Edgecombe County District Court on Wednesday.