JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two people have been charged in a case involving the death of a Johnstown man.
Police say Michael Stivers and Virginia Colvin are originally from Arkansas although they believe the crime began in Johnstown.
Police suspect the man died of natural causes and are now investigating on why his body moved.
Police say Stivers, Colvin, and the dead elderly man they’re accused of putting in a suitcase and dumping in Arkansas were all living together on the 2nd floor of the home located on North Perry Street.
According to police, Stivers and Colvin are not related to the man but were taking care of him.
“The one woman who was arrested used to live in the same building as him in Gloversville that’s how she knew him,” Johnstown Police Detective Jim Rodecker said.
Detective Rodecker says Colvin became friends with the elderly man and eventually became a caretaker to him.
Johnstown Police say Colvin and Michael Stivers both took care of him at this home on North Perry Street in Johnstown where they all lived together.
Now Stivers and Colvin are charged with felony abuse of a corpse after police say they took the man’s dead body and put in a suitcase and drove to Arkansas where they allegedly dumped it at a farm.
Now police are trying to find the man’s immediate family.
“We’re really trying to locate the next of kin. We’ve got cousins and aunts and uncles who we’re reaching out to but we’re trying to get the immediate family.”
Police believe Colvin and Stivers and possibly others who frequented the North Perry Street home may have been trying to collect the man’s benefits or insurance.
“The woman or people involved may have been looking to utilize his benefits he may have been receiving so we’ve subpoenaed documents and records.”
Police say they expect to have more information on Monday.