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Former city treasurer accused of embezzlement now missing



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MAPLETON -- An arrest warrant has been issued for the former treasurer of Mapleton City after she was a no-show in court.

Jeannie Bell faces charges that she embezzled thousands of dollars of city money. She hasn't been seen since the first of the week, and her family has filed a missing person report with the police. Right now, there are questions about her whereabouts and if her disappearance is connected to a court hearing Thursday that she missed.

Bell resigned from her job at the Mapleton City Hall back in June, when it was discovered that city funds were missing and suspicion fell on her in her job as the city treasurer. Criminal charges of theft were filed against her on July 20, and since then she has appeared in court on two separate occasions.

Bell, who is 48 years old, was booked into the Utah County Jail but then released on her own recognizance after signing a promise to appear in court. Prosecutors are hoping Bell will be found quickly so the criminal case against her can be resolved, and ultimately restitution can be paid back to the city. They are also anxious to have questions about her safety can be resolved.

"No one seems to know. The family has turned to police, which is very telling. And money aside with the case, we're concerned about her safety. But assuming she is safe and doing well, we want her back as soon as possible so this case can go on," says Utah County prosecutor Craig Johnson.

Prosecutors accuse Bell of stealing city money and property--such as stamps and gift cards--and then selling them on an online auction site. They won't give a specific dollar amount, except to say it is more than $5,000.

The judge in this case has issued a no bail warrant, meaning that when Bell is arrested she will not be able to post bail until she first appears in court.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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