Overview of Theodore Jost
Jost is a U.S. Army Veteran who was last known to be alive in approximately 1980 in Amherst Junction, WI. Theodore's disappearance was learned through an investigation by the Social Security Administration. His mother, Marie Jost, went missing at the same time. Authorities say Marie Jost was last seen in 1982. She has not used her Medicare benefits since 1980 when she had a stroke. The social security payments issued to Jost since she made a Medicaid claim total over $175,000.00. Since then, she has not used medical benefits, but her social security checks continued to be cashed. Despite no record of Marie Jost using medical benefits since 1980, officials appeared to have no clue of any possible scam until August 30, 2012. The Portage County Sheriff's Office says in August of 2012 they were contacted by the United States Social Security Administration asking for assistance in locating Marie Jost after several pieces of mail went unanswered. The Social Security Administration said Jost's benefit checks were being cashed by an unfamiliar person. The benefits that Marie Jost had been receiving had been in the form of paper checks, mailed to her residence and those checks have been cashed by an unknown person through an unknown branch of Anchor bank. An official from the Social Security Administration stated that their agency had been attempting to make contact with Jost for some time to verify that she is in fact alive. The agency reported that their agency had sent three letters to the address of record for Jost. After the Social Security Agency sent the third letter, they received a telephone call from a male who identified himself as Mrs. Jost's son. The official reported that this person stated Mrs. Jost was not available for a meeting. Law enforcement went to make contact with Jost. Upon their arrival, they met and spoke to Charles Jost. When Charles was asked about his mother, he stated that his mom and his other brother, Theodore, were not home but were riding in a vehicle some place. He was unable to tell what kind of vehicle or where they were driving. When he was asked for permission to look around the property, Charles became very agitated and refused his consent, telling deputies to leave his property. When asked if his mother was alive and in good health, Charles responded by stating that he was no longer going to talk with them and would talk to his lawyer. After leaving the residence, an official made contact with a citizen witness who resided near Charles' residence. The witness advised she lived at the residence since approximately 2006 and has never seen an elderly female or another male at Charles' residence. Another citizen witness who lived near Charles' residence said he had lived at his residence for 20 years and although he was aware that the property where Charles lived is owned by a Marie Jost, he has never seen an elderly woman at Charles's residence. Investigators also questioned Marie Jost's daughter and son-in law, Ronald and Delores Disher, at their Almond, WI home. During this interview, Ronald pulled out a sharpened metal file and threatened the officers at the scene. He was later taken into custody. Prosecutors believe Charles Jost and the two other family members pocketed $175,000.00 of Jost's Social Security benefits. Authorities said they discovered $9,000.00 in the home plus $8,000.00 at the Disher's home. Deputies say information provided by family members has been inconsistent. Delores Disher first told investigators she saw her mother less than a year ago. Then she changed her story, saying she hadn't seen her since her sister's funeral in 1980. It also had been revealed that they had not seen Theodore Jost for over 10 years. Theodore, who was also listed as living at 3658 Alm Road, qualified for Social Security benefits but never applied for them. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, neither Charles nor Theodore own any vehicles and neither have a valid driver's license. The Dishers also told police that Marie and Theodore have been traveling around the country for the last 30 years in a motor home, and that Charles is the only one who contacts Marie. They said Charles sends her her social security checks to sign, and then she sends them back. Another sister, Marie Housholder, told investigators she hasn't seen her mother since 1980, but her family continues to send Marie cards and pictures. Housholder received a letter purporting to be from her mother, with a return address of her last known address. Householder said she had not seen her mother since her sister Pat died in 1980. Housholder indicated that her family made a packet of birthday cards and pictures from her children and grandchildren for Marie Jost’s 100th birthday. Housholder indicated she met Delores and Ronald and “Butch” at Aldi’s in Steven Point the first week of October 2011. Delores indicated that they refer to Charles Jost by the nickname “Butch”. Housholder wanted to make sure her mother got the packet by her birthday. Housholder gave the Dishers $30.00 and stamps to send the packet. Housholder received a letter purporting to be from her mother thanking her for the packet. She indicated that the appearance of the name Marie Jost that was written on the letter was different than what she knew of her mother’s writing. All of the letters that Housholder received allegedly from her mother were mailed from the Amherst Junction address. Police also discovered a scrapbook at the Dishers' home called, "Momma's letters." It had letters written to the Dishers signed by Marie between 2006 and 2011. The name on the envelope was from Marie Jost and the return address was the Amherst Junction property Marie owns. The letters were written in cursive and signed “Momma, Butch and Ted”. The content of the letters often thanked the Dishers for taking care of her (Marie), “Butch” and Ted. According to the statement of Delores Disher, her mother endorsed the social security checks with an “X” because she had a stroke and was unable to sign her name. An investigator reported that on September 6, 2012, she spoke with a former employee at Citizen’s Bank in Amherst, WI. She was originally employed at the Meadow Inn Restaurant in Amherst in the early 1970’s and knew Marie Jost at that time. She started working at the bank in March of 1988. She recalls seeing Marie at the bank once when she came in to talk to the bank manager about cashing her checks. She confirmed that Marie was allowed to sign her checks with an “X” because she was illiterate and unable to sign her name. It is believed that this would have been the last date that anyone may have seen Marie Jost alive. It has been reported that when Ronald Disher was asked how long Marie Jost has been dead, he responded that she had been gone for about 25-30 years. Delores and Ronald were interviewed regarding the social security check cashing. Delores described that Ronald would drive and they would pick up Charles Jost and take him to Anchor Bank in Stevens Point. Ronald indicated that he drove his wife Delores and her brother Charles to do errands. He indicated that he knew they were doing something with Marie’s Social Security checks. In September 2012, the State Crime Lab went at Charles' property. Cadaver dogs picked up spots of interest, but no human remains were found. The search for evidence was expected to be a slow one, as Charles Jost was a hoarder. The Portage Sheriff's Department says items believed to be bone fragment were sent for analysis to a lab in Texas, but the results came back as inconclusive. The three were subsequently charged with theft, mail fraud, forgery, and unauthorized use of an individual's personal document. Charles Jost was found not by reason of mental defect. Charges against Delores were dismissed of medical issues. In 2014, the jury deliberated for more nearly 10 hours, but could not agree on whether Ronald Disher played a role in a fraud scheme that involved cashing his mother-in-law's Social Security checks.
(Courtesy of The Doe Network)