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FaithWorks: Family left 'homeless' after fire actually lived in Redding

By KRCR Staff
Published On: Jul 11 2013 04:34:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 06:49:53 PM CDT
(img1)Platina Fire Reax

A Redding transitional housing complex is saying that the woman who claimed she lost her Platina home in a fire actually lived in one of their units.

Stephanie Winchester and her mother, Mary Shelton, told media outlets including KRCR News Channel 7 on Wednesday that the Fiddler's Road Fire on Tuesday left them and Winchester's three children homeless.

Shelton said that her daughter and three grandchildren lived with her on the Yolla Bolly Road property near Igo.

After hearing the story, FaithWorks said that Winchester and her children have actually lived in one of their transitional housing units for about a year.

Shelton told KRCR News Channel 7 on Wednesday that losing her belongings as well as the belongings of her grandchildren was devastating.

"It's the little things. She was upset that her cabbage patch doll was gone," Shelton said about her granddaughter. "Her trophy from the principal math challenge was gone. Their baby teeth that were sitting on a shelf in the living room. You know, my only picture of my mother is gone."

When we asked Shelton about her daughter living at FaithWorks, she said that Winchester and her children's belongings were in her trailer and that her daughter had been living with her children at FaithWorks per the request of Child Protective Services.

Shelton also told us that her daughter was in the process of moving back to the trailer. She said the donations the family was and is requesting were primarily for her, but Winchester and her three children also lost most of their belongings in the fire.

Now, the Redding Police Department has released that Winchester is being investigated for embezzling money.

Police said that on Mar. 5, Barbara Galusha-Audia reported to the police that she had noticed a fraudulent charge to her credit card after donating to KIXE television.

The property had been delivered to an address in Redding where Winchester lived.

After confronting Winchester, police said that she admitted to fraudulently using the credit card numbers she got through working at KIXE television to purchase goods and services for herself.

After this finding, KIXE notified donors who paid using a credit card between June 2012 and April 2013 that their account may have been compromised. This resulted in an additional 10 victims who said that Winchester had used their cards to pay for goods. Police said that the total losses amounted to about $5,000.

Winchester has not yet been charged with embezzlement. The Shasta County District Attorney's Office said on Thursday that they will decide to whether or not to charge her for the eleven counts of fraudulent credit card information and one count of embezzlement that Redding Police is recommending in two weeks.