Public assistance lead to arrests of two subjects charged with elder abuse
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office began a man-hunt for 28-year old, Mark Kerpash, after he assaulted his 87 year old elderly grandmother Monday night. According to investigators, Kerpash flew into a rage and threatened to kill his grandmother after she refused to write him a $500 dollar check. The grandmother eventually under duress wrote the check after Kerpash assaulted her in her home.
Subsequently she suffered a broken pelvis and is currently in the hospital.
Since Monday night, the sheriff’s office began searching the areas Kerpash and his girlfriend, 27-year old, Jennifer Coleman (who used the alias Kelli Coleman) of Fulton, were known to frequent. Deputies learned the two may still be in Lincoln County.
Lincoln County citizens started flooding the sheriff’s office Facebook page with possible whereabouts of Kerpash and Coleman. Several citizens were able to make “friendly contact” with Kerpash using social media outlets and reported to the sheriff’s office the two were looking for a ride out of Lincoln County.
“By Wednesday, we knew, through Facebook posts and personal conversations shared by concerned citizens Kerpash was in the Troy or Hawk Point area,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “Kerpash’s desperation to leave Lincoln County was evident when he started accepting help from social media acquaintances who were not considered actual friends. If it was not for the help and trust of our citizens, I do not believe we would have apprehended Kerpash as fast as we did.”
Through social media and other means, the sheriff’s office was able to work with citizens to capture Kerpash and Coleman late Wednesday night at a Winfield residence.
“I can’t thank the citizens enough along with the men and women of the sheriff’s office for their tireless efforts and persistence in this case,” said Cottle. “The community was just as appalled with Kerpash’s crime and wanted him to answer for it as badly as we did.”
Kerpash and Coleman are currently housed at the Lincoln County Jail. Kerpash and Coleman are both charged with Class A felonies Elder Abuse 1st Degree and Robbery 1st Degree along with Class B felonies Burglary 1st Degree and Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person. Kerpash was refused bond and Coleman’s bond is currently set at $500,000 cash only.
In addition, Kerpash is a parole absconder and has an active warrant out of the State of Missouri.