Mistaken identity lands Missouri woman in Texas jail - KMOV.com

Mistaken identity lands Missouri woman in Texas jail

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A Missouri woman’s dream vacation ended in a nightmare when a case of mistaken identity landed her in jail for a week.

Cindy Cheesbrough told News 4 she was mistakenly locked up for writing a bad check in Farmington, Missouri even though she had never been there before.

In April 2015, Cheesbrough and her fiancé took a vacation to Cancun. On their way home, she says she was arrested at the Houston airport and hauled to jail.

According to her attorney Joshua Roberts, there was a warrant for the arrest of someone named Cindy Bayless for writing a $1,150 hot check in Farmington. Bayless was Cheesbrough’s maiden name.

“I haven’t used my maiden name in 30 plus years, so I really wasn’t sure what was going on and I didn’t even know where Farmington, Missouri was,” said Cheesbrough.

Cheesbrough was striped-searched during the six days in jail in Houston, Texas before several hearings and posting a $3,500 bond, according to officials.

“It was a very degrading experience, very humiliating. I’m 52-years-old, never been arrested. I had no clue what was going on,” said Cheesbrough.

When Cheesbrough arrived home, she said she did some research and discovered her birthdate had been placed on the arrest warrant for the other woman, Cindy Bayless.

“Her date of birth is 1972 and mine is 1962 and it was a matter of six was put in instead of a seven in the system,” said Cheesbrough.

Cheesbrough said the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department was not apologetic for their mistake.

News 4 reached out to officials in St. Francois County to ask how this mistake could have happened.

Prosecuting attorney Jerrod Mahurin said, “I don’t know a lot of details and it’s in the hands of the county’s insurance company.”

Attorney Joshua Roberts said he believes that Cheesbrough’s arrest was a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights

 “In my opinion, there’s clear liability, clear fault in this particular case. The only thing to talk about is what would be a reasonable amount of compensation.”

Cheesbrough said she wanted St. Francois County to add a way to double check their information before having someone arrested.

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