Captain Accused of Stealing Dead Woman's Identity
A passenger yacht captain in the U.S. has been accused of stealing a dead woman’s identity.
Texas news agency, KHOU reports that 52-year-old Cynthia Lyerla went by the name of Christina White for 20 years. White died in 1965.
Lyerla appeared in court on Friday to face charges that could see her imprisoned for up to 10 years. She has been charged with aggravated identity theft, false statements in a passport application, unlawful use and possession of a mariner license and unlawful use by false personation of a transportation worker identification credential.
Lyerla worked as a master on dinner cruise yachts around Clear Lake, Texas, for Majestic Ventures.
She is a widow from California whose husband was murdered in 1988, prosecutors said. Authorities convicted someone else for the crime.
A year later, Lyerla’s baby drowned, and her ex-in-laws filed a wrongful death lawsuit blaming her. Lyerla used the assumed identity to escape stalkers, said her boss Captain John Litchfield.