Brian Eric Schendel, 37, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., was preliminarily charged with felony exploitation of an endangered adult over the age of 60 years. Schendel appeared in Kosciusko County Circuit Court this morning for his arraignment.
Schendel is accused of selling an automobile to a 79-year-old female. Schendel maintained contact with the buyer and stated that he had been in the military, was injured, and needed money. Playing on the victim’s kindness, Schendel was able to coerce the elderly female into sending him cash and money orders over that past year to locations in Mississippi and Tennessee.
Information was subsequently provided to Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department detectives of this ongoing act. An investigation began this summer into Schendel’s involvement.
Detectives were finally able to track Schendel to the Oak Ridge, Tenn., area, although he had used another alias in that community. Officers from the Oak Ridge Police Department were able to take Schendel into custody until KCSD detectives were able to fly to Tennessee and retrieve him yesterday.
Schendel is currently in the Kosciusko County Jail with a $5,000 bond.