Dead body
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The Butte County Superior Court charged David Pirtle, 57, of Chico, California with identity theft and multiple counts of forgery Wednesday. Pirtle wrote checks from the bank account of his roommate Kevin Olson, 64, also of Chico.

Pirtle allegedly lived with the body of his dead roommate for four years while forging checks to himself from the dead man’s account. With a search warrant, the Chico Police Department responded to Olson's home, at the 2600 block of Burnap Avenue where Pirtle lives, and found Olson's dead body. The authorities began an investigation in August 2022 after several relatives of Olson reported they have not seen him since around October 2018.

Chico detectives said they discovered records indicating Olson’s mortgage is continually paid. They also found approximately 50 checks written to Pirtle from Olson’s name and bank account. Moreover, a comparison of checks written to Pirtle and recorded signatures of Olson determined the checks were not written or signed by Olson. Based on financial records and the state of Olson’s body, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said they believe Olson died in late 2018.

Olson was retired from the United States Navy and his monthly retirement checks were being sent directly into his Navy Federal Credit Union account, prosecutors alleged. His mortgage was still being paid, the officers reported. Beginning in July 2019, Pirtle allegedly forged approximately 50 checks on the account, accoring to authorities KTLA reported.

The bereaved of Olson told police they were trying to reach him since 2018, however, they only ever spoke with Pirtle, who gave various excuses as to the deceased's absences. A Chico police officer contacted Pirtle, but he told police that Olson was out of town, Los Angeles Times reported. According to the outlet, officers located Olson’s body last week on the floor of a back bedroom of his home. However, they did not give further details on how the body was kept.

An autopsy on Olson to determine the cause of his death will take place soon.

Pirtle is still being held on $165,000 bail and is scheduled to appear at the Butte County Superior Court on Thursday morning, the Mirror reported.

Dead body
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