A Washington woman has been arrested after police learned she robbed an elderly man as he was bleeding to death.
Laura Michelle Cowan, 37, was booked into Skagit County Jail on charges of theft and trafficking stolen property, KIRO reported.
Cowan admitted to robbing a 77-year-old man after he accidentally shot himself in his car while in a parking lot in Mt. Vernon. While others rushed to the vehicle to help the elderly man, Cowan robbed him of his wallet and GPS unit, police said.
The man was later identified as Christopher Daszkiewicz of Illinois, Skagit Breaking Community News reported. He was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital, where he died due to blood loss from the gunshot wound. Police believe Daszkiewicz struck a major artery in his leg when he accidentally shot himself.
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Cowan originally gave her name to police as a witness, but left the scene afterward. Authorities discovered that items were missing from Daszkiewicz’s vehicle and later interviewed witnesses again.
Cowan confessed to stealing the items while Daszkiewicz was still alive. She told investigators she gave the wallet to a friend and traded the GPS unit to another friend.
Troy Woodworth, a witness who was with Cowan at the time, told investigators that he saw Cowan at the man’s vehicle acting hysterical. He said she handed him a wallet and two $20 bills. He said he believed Cowan gave him half of what was in the wallet and kept the rest for herself.
Woodworth said Cowan told him to “get rid of the wallet.” He told investigators he threw the wallet into a wooded area while they drove back to Concrete.
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Daszkiewicz and his wife, Beverly, had four children and nearly a dozen grandchildren. They had been married 54 years. Daszkiewicz and Beverly were spending their retirement volunteering for the National Park Service as campground hosts.
Cowan has 12 prior felony convictions. She was arrested on Sept. 9 with bail set at $20,000.