BANKING RECORDS SHOW FUNDS MOVED WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE
A series of banking transactions and several problems with 51-year-old Miriam Francis Helmick’s story surrounding the death of her husband, 62-year-old Alan Helmick, convinced
investigators she likely was responsible for his death, according to a court document unsealed Monday.
Alan Helmick was found shot in his Whitewater home June 10, after Miriam Helmick called 911 claiming that someone had broken into the house, 34999 Siminoe Road.
Shortly after his death, according to the affidavit, investigators began asking if Miriam Helmick could have been involved in her husband’s death, including pulling his banking records.
“Miriam Helmick was transferring funds from Alan Helmick’s personal checking account to herself and the Dance Junction account without Alan Helmick’s knowledge,” the affidavit said.
Dance Junction, a dance studio Helmick founded after the couple’s marriage in June 2006, was in debt by the spring of 2007, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, Helmick was making out more than $16,000 worth of checks from her husband’s checking account to the dance studio and herself and signing the checks, “which she was not authorized to do.”
Alan’s family, including his son-in-law, Josh Vigil, told investigators that Miriam was flaunting the fact that she was entitled to everything the couple owned or came into after the marriage, the affidavit said.
Vigil told investigators when he said, “I knew this would happen,” the day of his father-in-law’s death, he was referring to Alan’s wealth.
Jeri Yarbrough, a horse trainer who knew Miriam, told investigators on June 16 that Miriam had complained about Alan two days after his death.
“Miriam told Jeri that Alan had been ‘an (expletive)’ to her for the past couple of weeks but did not go into detail,” the affidavit said. “Miriam told her that she had been hiding money at the dance studio so that she had access to money. Miriam also told Jeri, ‘(I) sure am going to miss him’ and laughed.”
Investigators also learned that Helmick’s behavior around the time of her husband’s death was not consistent with her usual schedule.
One of Alan’s daughters from a previous marriage, Wendy, said it made little sense that Miriam would call Alan several times the day of his death because she would keep his cell phone in her purse, the affidavit said.
According to phone records, receipts and Miriam’s interview with investigators, she started running errands around 9 a.m. at Orchard Mesa Market, 176 29 Road, and went to several other stores until around 11 a.m. when she returned home, the affidavit said.
During her errands, investigators learned, she called Alan six times, according to the affidavit.
Other family members told investigators that Alan “had become unreachable” since his marriage to Miriam.
Loan officers at Alan’s bank also said they were unable to reach him regarding more than $139,000 the bank had to transfer from his personal accounts to pay down two commercial loans.
Investigators also learned that a threatening note written on a greeting card that Miriam reported finding on her front door the afternoon of June 27, which read “TO THE GREVING WIDOW. ALLEN WAS FIRST – YOUR NEXT! RUN RUN RUN,” was fake.
According to the affidavit, investigators used the card’s barcode to find out where and when it was purchased,
June 22 at the Orchard Mesa City Market.
Surveillance video from the store showed Miriam Helmick buying the card. When Miriam presented a handwriting sample to investigators on
July 3, she misspelled “you’re” as “your” — like it was written on the threatening card — when she was read the note, the affidavit said.
Investigators also reported finding several peculiar files on Miriam’s personal computer mentioning drugs Alan was taking and “overdose,” such as “Ambien overdose” and “Viagra overdose.”
In one of the investigation’s final discoveries, according to the affidavit, investigators learned in mid-September that Miriam might have had access to a .25-caliber pistol that Alan had received from the estate of his first wife’s stepfather, Gerald Wait of Delta, the affidavit said.
Investigators could not locate the gun, but ballistics experts with the Colorado Bureau of
Investigation said a bullet fired from the gun, a .25-caliber Lorcin pistol, could match the bullet found in Alan Helmick the day of his death.
Miriam Helmick is being held on a $2 million bond at Mesa County Jail. Her case is scheduled to return to court Jan. 29.