Police in Florida say they are searching for a young woman who allegedly bilked an 86-year-old World War II veteran out of several thousand dollars.
Twenty-five-year-old Gina Marks –- who is also known as Gina Diprima and Amanda Gina Marks –- faces charges of grand theft and exploitation of the elderly for allegedly taking more than $20,000 from Pompano Beach resident Clifford Rogerson, leaving him destitute.
Attempts by The Huffington Post to reach Rogerson were unsuccessful Wednesday.
According to Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office, Marks befriended Rogerson at a Pompano Beach Walgreens in November 2012, after the young woman was short $1 at the register.
"I said here, lady, take the dollar," Rogerson told Nbcmiami.com Wednesday. "This way you get out, don't block up the line, you know?"
Rogerson said Marks thanked him and asked him for his number. From there the relationship quickly blossomed, police said.
"She told him she loved him and wanted to travel the world with him ... The two held hands, kissed and regularly dined together," said Moschella, who referred to Marks in a press release as a "young, beautiful scam artist."
Rogerson explained the relationship to WFOR News, saying it developed because he is "young at heart."
Over the course of three months, Rogerson allegedly lent Marks the more than $20,000 he had in the bank. The girl, he told police, promised to repay him when her father sold his business.
"I didn't want to believe that she was bad because I was looking for someone to go out with at that time," Rogerson told Cbs12.com.
When Rogerson's retirement account was depleted, police say Marks disappeared. Rogerson told investigators he last heard from her in February 2013, when she called from a blocked number and told him she no longer had a cell phone.
Rogerson reported the crime to the sheriff’s office in May 2013. Investigators spent the last several months working to confirm the suspect's identity, which finally resulted in the charges being filed this week.
Authorities said the young woman's last known whereabouts were at a residence on Del Luna Drive in Boca Raton. She is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds. Investigators said she may have a school-age child.
Anyone with information about Marks is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (954) 321-4255 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-8477. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $3,000 for information that leads to an arrest.