SANDPOINT — A Kelso Lake man accused of using a missing woman’s bank card is waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.
Jordan Jarrad Law’s waiver means he is declining to contest the evidence against him at this stage in the criminal proceeding. Law’s waiver advances his case to 1st District Court for arraignment on a felony charge of unlawfully using a financial transaction card.
Law, 41, is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 16. He is free on a $300,000 surety bond while the case is pending.
The bank card in question belonged to Rae Allison Berwanger, who has been reported as a missing person by Idaho State Police since March 5. Law, however, has not been charged in connection with her disappearance.
Berwanger, 54, was last seen by her brother at Law’s Kelso Lake Road residence, according to court documents. Her disappearance is classified by Idaho State Police as that of a person who is over the age of 18 for whom there is a reasonable concern for their safety.
Berwanger moved into Law’s home earlier this year, after being asked to leave a different Kelso Lake Road home due to excessive drinking and disagreements with one of the homeowners, court records indicate.
Law told investigators that he hadn’t seen Berwanger since selling her his Pontiac Grand Am for $800 and suspected she used the vehicle to go to Florida to visit her son or to Alaska to meet up with somebody she met online, a probable cause affidavit said. He claimed he hadn’t seen the vehicle since March 7, when he claimed to have found it high-centered on a snowbank at Clagstone and Diagonal roads.
However, bank surveillance cameras captured images of Law using the bank card to make a three $400 withdrawals in Coeur d’Alene and Spirit Lake on March 4-6, which contradicted his claim. Law, the affidavit said, could not explain why he fabricated the story about happening upon the vehicle.
Those with information about Berwanger’s whereabouts are asked to call the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office at 208-263-8417,
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.