The nanny did it.

That's the conclusion of state police investigating the theft of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a Barnet home last spring.

Kendall Morse, 18, Lunenburg, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny in Caledonia Superior Court-Criminal Court Monday. Morse was then released by the court on conditions that she not contact John Lantagne, 44, Gail Lantagne, 39, or their children.

Morse, who was 17 when the jewelry disappeared, is accused of stealing $5,500 in gold and diamond jewelry from the jewelry box in Gail Lantagne's bedroom at 2482 Old Silo Road home in Barnet while caring for the Lantagnes' two young children June 28, 2011. Police believe some of the stolen jewelry was later sold to a St. Johnsbury pawn shop and melted down.

According to an affidavit filed by trooper Lyle Decker, the missing jewelry includes two sets of diamond earrings, one 14-Carat Gold necklace with a ruby and diamond medallion, a diamond and gold ring, a solid gold necklace and an aquamarine ring with a red stone and a birthstone ring with two diamonds.

But the most valuable missing piece was a diamond-studded gold bracelet valued at $3,600.

Decker tracked a report that some of the stolen items may have been sold to Avenue Pawn Shop on Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury shortly after it disappeared. Shop owner Patrick Michael Lenahan, 63, told Decker July 19 he did recall buying a bracelet that looked just like a picture of the diamond-studded bracelet taken from Lantagne.

"He said he paid $175 for the bracelet," Decker wrote in his affidavit. "He said he does not have any receipt and does not record any names when he buys jewelry. Lenahan advised this was about three weeks ago and he popped the diamonds out and sent the gold off to be melted down within a day or two after he bought it."

Lenahan, according to Decker, told police that he only recalled buying the diamond bracelet and that he probably would not have remembered some of the other jewelry because it wasn't as unique.

Lenahan did provide police with a physical description of the bracelet's young female seller and the small red vehicle that she was driving that matched reports on Morse and her activities in the days after the jewelry was reported missing, according to the affidavit.

If convicted on the felony charge, Morse faces a possible sentence of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.