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What you need to know for 12/17/2017

2 more arrests in Johnstown corpse case

2 more arrests in Johnstown corpse case

Both charged with felonies
2 more arrests in Johnstown corpse case
Aaron Rulison, 25, and Leeann Sager, 34.
Photographer: Provided

Police have arrested two Fulton County individuals on charges related to the improper disposal of an elderly Johnstown man’s body.

On Tuesday police in Johnstown arrested Leeann Sager, 34, of North Perry Street in Johnstown, and Aaron Rulison, 25, of Eighth Avenue in Gloversville.

Sager was charged with concealment of a human corpse and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies. She was also charged with second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor.

Rulison was charged with concealment of a human corpse, a felony.

On March 5 law enforcement in Arkansas found the body of Johnstown resident Robert Brooks, 89, stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in a field outside of Little Rock. Authorities believe he died of natural causes, and that his body may have been driven 19 hours from Johnstown to Des Arc, Ark., where he was found, as part of a benefits fraud scheme.

Johnstown police said in a press release that Sager lived at the same North Perry Street address in Johnstown as Brooks. Police believe those involved in transporting his body may have acted as his caretakers while he was alive. Johnstown Police Department Lt. David Gilbo declined to comment Thursday on whether Sager was Brooks’ caretaker, citing an ongoing police investigation.

Gilbo did confirm Sager was the woman that police in Johnstown initially questioned and released after executing a warrant on the North Perry Street home March 8.

Authorities in Arkansas previously arrested another woman who lived at the North Perry Street address for her involvement with transporting Brooks’ body. Virginia Lee Colvin, 56, was charged by authorities in that state with abuse of a corpse. A fourth individual, Michael Stivers, of Johnstown, was also arrested by police in Arkansas in connection with the case but was charged with a crime unrelated to Brooks’ body.

Since his body was found, authorities have discovered Brooks was a WWII veteran honorably discharged in 1945 - three months after the war ended. His body will be driven from Little Rock via a Patriot Guard escort to his final resting place in South Carolina. Brooks’ son lives in South Carolina, according to WNYT News Channel 13.

A crowdfunding campaign has been organized at GoFundMe to help lay Brooks to rest.

Gilbo said in a press release Thursday that the investigation is ongoing and active. State police in New York and the Prairie County (Ark.) Sheriff’s Department are also involved in the investigation.

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