The dramatic helicopter rescue of Heather Mounce in August 2017 made headlines. After going missing for nearly a week, the Oregon woman was found alive on a cliff and was air-rescued to safety. Now, Mounce is making headlines for a much more negative reason: she is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a retirement home and charged with nearly 100 felonies.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Heather Mounce is Accused of Stealing Money From Her Former Employer, a Retirement Community in Dallas, Oregon
According to the Polk County District Attorney’s office, they began looking into the case in 2017. Investigators accuse Mounce of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Dallas Retirement Village, her now former employer. Officials also say she stole funds from the Oregon Center for Nursing and OpenRoad Transportation.
But it wasn’t just organizations, prosectors say. Mounce is also accused of stealing from someone in her care. That alleged victim has been identified as Antony Emil Britt, a man in his 90s. According to court documents, Mounce allegedly used Britt’s personal information “with the intent to deceive or defraud, convert to defendant’s own use, create, obtain, possess, transfer and utter personal identification of” multiple businesses.
2. Heather Mounce Has a Very Long List of Felony Charges Stacked Against Her
Heather Mounce is facing 96 Felony Class C charges. The case against her was filed July 19th in Polk County Circuit Court. Her defense attorney is listed as Jeffrey Jones. Mounce’s arraignment is scheduled for August 14, where she is expected to plead not guilty.
According to the State of Oregon Judicial Department, the alleged crimes began in September 2013. The most recent incident, criminal mistreatment in the first degree, allegedly occurred July 14, 2018. Mounce is facing charges including:
– 62 counts of identify theft
– 24 counts of criminal treatment
– 5 counts of first-degree aggravated theft
– 6 counts of first-degree theft
3. The Dallas Retirement Village is Coordinating with Prosecutors on the Investigation
The Dallas Retirement Village is a non-profit facility in Dallas, Oregon. According to its website, it opened for business in 1947 and boasts a “small town” atmosphere situated on 30 acres. The facility includes at least 116 nursing care beds, apartment homes and a clubhouse.
The organization spoke with local news affiliate KATU News regarding the charges against Mounce. They told the station:
“We are working closely with the state and Polk County Attorney’s Office in their investigation of this individual and former employee. The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority and we have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to protect them. We can assure that she had no access to any personal resident records.”
4. Mounce’s Disappearance in August 2017 Triggered a Massive Hunt
Heather Mounce vanished for 4 days in August 2017 after going on a hike. Family members spoke with her on the phone the same day she went missing. They called police after she failed to return home.
Investigators found her car parked along Highway 101 near the Sea Lion Caves. Her ID, purse and phone had all been left behind in the car.
On the 4th day of the search, her husband Denton Davison spotted Mounce on the side of the cliff and called 911. The Coast Guard pilot who led the rescue mission told reporters at the time that Mounce had been clinging to bushes on the cliff. Police at the time said it did not appear Mounce had been abducted, but had hiked to the cliff of her own free will.
5. The Coast Guard Rescued Mounce From the Cliffside in a Helicopter
The Coast Guard flew the helicopter to the side of the cliff. A rescue swimmer rappelled out of the chopper, to grab Mounce. Strong winds caused the two to sway dramatically as they were lifted back into the helicopter.
The Coast Guard then landed the helicopter on the nearby highway so that Mounce could be checked out by paramedics. She was ok, despite having spent several nights exposed to the elements.
Her family was ecstatic to have her home safe. But the happiness was short-lived. Davison filed for divorce three months later, citing irreconcilable differences.