BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – For three years, a woman who was found wandering around St. Vincent's East has been called Jane "Sally" Doe. Now, investigators say she is 68-year-old Edith Allen from Georgia.
Her court-appointed guardian in Alabama says Allen is not able to communicate and suffers from developmental delays and other issues. Through a tip that came via Facebook and through the tireless investigative work of those involved with the case, authorities now know more about Allen.
"We are delighted. We've speculated, and now we have a bit of the story pieced together and we're just delighted that she now has a name and identity," said Sidney Summey, Allen's court appointed guardian and attorney.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey says they also believe they know who was taking advantage of Allen.
A former caregiver, Cathy Thomas of Douglasville, Georgia, is charged with identity theft for allegedly taking social security benefits that rightfully belonged to Allen.
Prosecutors say she's charged with stealing Edith Allen's identity. They say Thomas collected in excess of $25,000 of Social Security benefits that should have gone to Allen since she was dropped off at St. Vincent's East in 2010.
"There was no way to identify Edith Allen," Casey explained. "Absolutely zero way."
Ultimately, a tip helped authorities identify Allen through her medical records, signature comparisons and photographs.
"It just breaks your heart to see someone in this state being done like this," Casey added. "I mean, you know it's almost like she was treated like an animal that we dropped off in front of the animal shelter and just walked off."
Casey won't go into detail about how Allen wound up in Birmingham, but she says it will come out as they begin to prosecute the case.
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