House Guest Accused of Forging Dead Woman’s Checks

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A 56-year-old woman was being held Monday on suspicion of forgery and burglary after the death of a woman she was living with in Mission Hills.


Patricia “Tisha” Rodriguez accused of forging checks after death of woman she was living with. (Credit: Los Angeles Police Department)

Patricia “Tisha” Rodriguez had been living with Phyllis Ciocca for less than two weeks when the 80-year-old was found dead in her home on Nov. 15.

Ciocca’s death was initially considered to be the result of heart trouble, authorities said. But investigators ordered an autopsy after family members reported that Rodriquez was claiming she had been named the beneficiary of the elderly woman’s estate, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

During a subsequent investigation, authorities discovered thousands of dollars in checks written in Ciocca’s name, dated after her death.  The checks were made out to cash, restaurants, manicure salons, and motel, the release stated.

Rodriguez has a criminal history that includes burglary, larceny, and illegal sales of prescription medicine, police said. She was being held on $140,000 bail.

“We’re interested to know if Tisha has taken up residence with other persons, especially if they were elderly and living alone,” LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.

Anyone with information on this crime was urged to call the LAPD at 818-838-9948.