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Edna Sue Pate Stole $97,000 From Grandson Christian Smith's College Trust Fund, Is On Lam, Cops Say

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Edna Sue Pate allegedly stole $97,000 from her grandson's college fund.
Edna Sue Pate allegedly stole $97,000 from her grandson's college fund.

A grandmother is on the run after allegedly stealing almost $100,000 from her grandson's education fund to cover her gambling debts. But the boy's father says he won't let granny get away, even if authorities in his home state aren't cooperating.

Thomas C. Smith of Griffith, Indiana says that in 1996, his son, Christian, inherited $100,000 intended to pay for his college education. The money was put into a trust fund in 2003, and Christian's grandmother, Edna Sue Pate, was named trustee. In 2004, however, she allegedly began pocketing money from the account.

Between 2004 and 2007, ABC News reports, Pate allegedly withdrew more than $97,000 from the account for Christian, now 20. During this time, Pate incurred around $93,000 in gambling losses, according to records from the Majestic Star II Casino in Indiana.

Thomas Smith has been attempting to take legal action against Pate since 2008, but was met with resistance from a probate court. Now, the 73-year-old Pate is charged with four counts of theft, WIBC reports, but Smith continues having trouble hauling her to trial.

Investigators believe that Pate is living in Minden, Louisiana, but Louisiana police are unable to extradite her, as Pate's arrest warrant only permits extradition from states bordering Indiana.

Indiana authorities, however, are resistant to putting in the expense and effort necessary to retrieve her.

Determined to see justice served for his son, Thomas Smith is attempting to raise the money for the arrest himself. He has started a website, ArrestEdnaSuePate.org, that explains his situation and includes a page for donations. He is also throwing benefit concert for the cause.

Smith, who is no longer married to Pate's daughter, told the Minden Press-Herald Online that he "will use every resource at my disposal" to get his ex-wife's mother arrested.

"She can run," he said, "but she can't hide."

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