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Family says they were deceived by late son's friend

Posted May 13, 2009

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— Ryan Evans was a wonderful, kind man, his mother, Delores Evans, recalls – the type of man who would leave his own home to loan it to a friend in need.

At the age of 32, he was also a hard worker who ran the family business and enjoyed doing so. Family members said he had a great life.

But on Nov. 16, 2008, he shot himself in the woods behind the Streets at Southpoint in Durham.

"There was no indication," Delores Evans said. "There was nothing in Ryan's behavior that would indicate that he would shoot himself."

Even at the end of his life, Evans said, her son was generous. Eight people's lives, including hers, were saved with organs harvested from his body.

family says they were deceived by late son's friend Family deceived in identity theft

Through her kidney transplant surgery and the grief of losing a loved one, Evans said she and her family came to rely on her son's friend, Belinda Jones.

Jones had helped Ryan out with the family business's finances, and family members said he had helped her with her and her daughter's needs.

"She was so helpful to us," Evans said, saying that Jones helped with funeral arrangements, planned a video tribute, designed Ryan's funeral program and helped with the obituary.

Jones had even asked to be in line with the family during the funeral procession to the burial.

Family members said she helped with the decision-making process regarding the organ donation and sat by Evans' side as she recovered from surgery.

"This was the type of relationship that we thought we had," Evans said.

Then, Evans discovered that someone had taken more than $50,000 from her son's bank account.

Investigators eventually charged Jones with identity theft, and several counts of obtaining and attempting to obtain property by false pretenses.

She was arrested March 5 and indicted on all charges in April. She is out of jail on a $15,000 bond.

Investigators said she wrote checks from Ryan's bank account – one for $26,000, one for $24,000 and one for $10,000 – although the $10,000 check never cleared. Some were dated before his death.

They also believe she went with an unidentified man pretending to be Ryan and used his identity to buy a car.

"This blows my mind. It really does, and it hurts," Evans said.

The investigation is ongoing, but right now, detectives do not think there are any more victims.

Evans said the car was taken back when the check bounced. She believes Jones had access to her son's personal information and checks since she helped him with the business.

"We were just devastated," Evans said.

Now, she wants Jones to go to jail.

Jones declined to comment Wednesday. Her attorney, Ralph Frasier, did not return calls for comment.


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  • UKNOW217 May 15, 2009

    In this case "Tigertale"... "marriage" does not make you a family member. Please leave the Evans Family ALONE!

  • UKNOW217 May 15, 2009

    I know exactly who you are, and you are NOT related to us!

  • tigertale01 May 15, 2009

    Unknow217, you have it all mixed up. I "am" one of your family members. Enough said.

  • UKNOW217 May 15, 2009

    Everyone - be on the lookout for this story in the News and Observer and CNN very soon!!

  • UKNOW217 May 15, 2009

    One more thing, This case and the facts are public record, there is no slander going on. The facts are the facts. She will be punished for all (5) counts on her indictment and the family will be able to move on and grieve properly. The "real" girlfriend of Ryan, the lady he was planning on marrying, will also be able to move on. I would hope that if you really loved Ryan that you would want his family to have some peace! Maybe you spent too much time hanging out in his store when you should have been living your own life... "tigertale"...

  • tigertale01 May 15, 2009

    Well, Unknow217, I did not help you make a point. I really do not think you know who he was in love with to keep along story short if you know what I mean "family member". I was there in that store most days and spent alot of time with them together. So, I have heard them confess thier love to each other. Where were you and the other family members when he needed help or was hungry? I know where she was "right there" It is not tragic, I do believe that he would have given her the shirt off of his back and she would have done the same for him. This child did not need his money, she showed him how to make money legally and successfully, so stop playing games with her life. Do you think she is not hurt too? The way he depended on her support she did not act like a family member she was a family member to him she was a family member to him and he to her, maybe not to you! Let him rest in peace, leave her alone with this silly slander! Let the judicial system do thier jobs!

  • UKNOW217 May 15, 2009

    I did know them well and I am one of his family members. I know for a fact they were not in a relationship because he was in love with someone else. Everything you said described her as a great, loving friend... which makes this story so tragic. He did love her as a friend which is why the family is so hurt! She acted like a family member during the funeral which is why the family is so upset! She did help him with the store, which is how she obtained access to his financial information. Thank you for making my point Tigertale!!!! Your posting just proved how horrible this crime really was...

  • tigertale01 May 14, 2009

    Oh and no he was not a drug dealer. He was a sucessful business man, with great help from her. According to him (and in his own words). She help him to get the store and maintain it. She did not depend on him. They depended on each other, for love, respect, trust and happiness.

  • tigertale01 May 14, 2009

    Well everyone seems to think that this woman was not romantically linked to Mr. Evans, however I knew them both first hand and know that they loved each other without a doubt, he glowed when ever she came around and so did she. He spoke of her all of the time. They were together on numerous occasions, she stood in that store on many days for several hours, because he wanted or needed her there, I would see them laugh, talk, joke etc. He loved to run her around the store just to hear her laughter. I would also see her working behind the counter to give him a break, bringing him food, and yes helping him count his money and take it to the bank. So unless you knew then and knew them well keep you comments to your self. Oh by the way when he gave up his home to help others where do you think he went, that is right, straight to her where he was always welcome and comfortable. If that is not romantically linked then what the heck is it. They were two hearts that beat as one.

  • shortcake53 May 14, 2009

    UKNOW, thanks for setting the record straight.