COPS: WHITEWATER SLAY SUSPECT STOLE ID OF HUSBAND’S FIRST WIFE
In the months leading up to her arrest, Miriam Helmick allegedly impersonated Alan Helmick’s dead first wife in order to get a job in Florida and meet men in an online dating service, according to testimony Friday.
Miriam Helmick, 52, worked as a saleswoman at a company in Jacksonville, Fla., between September and November 2008, where she was known as “Sharon Helmick,” Mesa County
Sheriff’s investigator Jim Hebenstreit testified during a preliminary hearing.
Miriam Helmick has been charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 shooting death of her husband at their Whitewater home.
Miriam Helmick ended up resigning her position with Rain Soft Water Conditioning Products, according to testimony Friday.
The new impersonation allegations came to light after U.S. marshals arrested Helmick on a Mesa County murder warrant on Dec. 8 in Jacksonville.
When Helmick was pulled over after driving away from her son’s home there, authorities found a series of identification items in her purse: a Colorado driver’s license; paycheck stubs; and credit cards. All were under the name Sharon Helmick.
Sharon Helmick died in 2003.
Her husband, Alan, met Miriam Morgan Giles in late 2005 before marrying her in June 2006.
Authorities allege Miriam Helmick shot Alan Helmick in the back of head June 10, 2008, in the kitchen of the couple’s home.
District Judge Valerie Robison found probable cause Friday for all 14 counts lodged against Miriam Helmick, who could enter a plea on June 23 to charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and 11 counts of forgery, in addition to a sentence-enhancing crime-of-violence charge. Attorneys told the judge they’ll probably need four to six weeks for a jury trial later this year.
The preliminary hearing stretched over eight hours in Robison’s courtroom, interrupted late in the afternoon for about 20 minutes when an unannounced fire drill forced the evacuation of the Mesa County Justice Center.
Aside from the fresh impersonation allegations, prosecutors on Friday suggested Miriam Helmick in late 2008 was also using Sharon Helmick’s identity for online dating.
Miriam Helmick was believed to have left Mesa County for Jacksonville last summer after Alan Helmick’s murder, where she lived with her son, Jason Giles.
Sheriff’s investigator Mike Pietchota testified Friday an analysis of the hard drive from a computer seized at the Florida residence showed repeated searches under the name
“Sharon,” which are linked to dating services including “sugardaddies.com.”
A profile for “Sharon” showed hits on photos for 243 men, many claiming in their profiles to be wealthy, according to testimony.
“You have millionaires looking for somebody and women looking to be taken care of,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret said.