BRENHAM, Texas A Brenham personal care attendant is accused of stealing nearly $13K from the woman she was hired to take care of. Now the victim's family says they're getting death threats.
Linda Zientek said she'll never forget the day she got the call from the bank in May.
"I was just floored," said Zientek.
Her mother-in-law, Regina Zientek's bank account showed $12,665 worth in debit charges, and Zientek said none of them were made by Regina.
"Insurance payments, cell phone payments, electric bill, water bills, or she'd just go shopping," said Linda.
Even more shocking to the family was the person, investigators said, was behind it all. Pamela Lockett, 41. A person the Zienteks hired to come inside 76-year-old Regina's home as a personal care attendant for Regina just over two years ago.
Linda said she knew something wasn't quite right for a while.
"I would go take mom grocery shopping and laundry detergent, and food was coming up missing," said Linda.
Regina said she was devastated by the news.
"Like the saying goes, you can't trust anybody," said Regina. "This was a slick one."
Lockett was arrested and has since posted bond, but the Zienteks said the nightmare is far from over.
Linda said she's been receiving threatening text messages from someone who claims to be from the Lockett family.
"She's saying that she's coming here to kill us, and that she's going to pay my mother a visit and then come into my house."
Holding back tears, Linda said she doesn't know what to do.
"I have to try and sleep at night, worrying about every little noise," said Linda. "And I want to get up at night and come here and check on them."
Lockett no longer works for the home health care company, AMA Home Care in Brenham. Officials there said they've been in business for nearly 19 years, and have been performing background checks on every one of their potential employees since day one.
Lockett, who has no felony convictions, has been arrested at least twice before. Once for theft by check.
Washington County Sheriff's Investigator Clay Bosse was assigned to the Lockett case.
Bosse said Lockett used Zientek's debit card to pay for her own bills as well as others.
"She paid other people's utility bills, cable, things of that nature," said Bosse. "Family members and friends. Car payments were made under her name as well."
As for Regina, she said she has a message for others.
"Just be careful," said Regina. "Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody."