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Friends concerned about missing Wendell woman after son is charged with abuse

Posted October 26

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— A Wendell man has been indicted on charges his mistreated and stole money from his mother, who hasn't been seen in months.

A Wake County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Stephen Owen Schrader, 53, of 6524 Turnipseed Road, on charges of abuse of a disabled or elderly person resulting in serious injury, exploitation of a disabled or elderly person's trust and obtaining property by false pretense.

Warrants state that 74-year-old Carolyn Sue Fox was confined and restrained in an inhumane manner and not cared for properly. They also allege that Schrader took money from her multiple times for his own, totaling nearly $4,000.

Fox has not seen by friends since the summer. One of them called the Wake County Sheriff's Office to do a wellness check, and deputies couldn't locate her on Oct. 3.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison wouldn't comment on what investigators believe happened to Fox.

"She has not been found. We're going to let the warrants speak for themselves," Harrison said. "It's an active investigation. If anyone knows anything, please give us a call."

One of Fox's longtime friends, who did not want to be identified, said she is distraught about her friend's disappearance.

"A mother and daughter figure; a very enjoyable happy person when we were out together," she said of her relationship with Fox.

The friend said she has not seen Fox since July.

'It's made my depression worse. I don't sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night crying," she said.

The friend and other neighbors say they remain concerned about Fox's wellbeing after encounters with her son shortly after her disappearance.

"Every time I would call and leave a message, I wouldn't get a return," the friend said. "Every time I went by the house, if the car was there, I couldn't stop. He wouldn't let anybody in."

Fox is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 118 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.

Schrader was being held in the Wake County jail under a $200,000 bond.

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  • Betsey Duggins Oct 26, 7:30 p.m.
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    That is one hard-looking 53 year old! Strung out on drugs? What a low down child to take advantage of his Mom in any manner! This breaks my heart that he probably caused her demise in some way. May he rot in jail!