Arrest made in connection to Little Falls remains discovery


LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - The last known caretaker of Donald Wichelns, Tammy Lynn Sterling-Barthelmess, was arrested after his remains were found behind her former home in Little Falls last week.

New York State Police confirm to NEWSChannel 2 that Sterling-Barthelmess was arrested in connection to the case and is charged with forgery.

Officials would not specify the circumstances behind the forgery charge.

State Police say this is an ongoing investigation and they say more charges could be possible.

A positive identification of the remains is still pending DNA confirmation, police say. Investigators are confident the remains are that of Wichelns, who would 71 years of age if alive today. Police had earlier said this individual was a possibility, without releasing a name.

His body was found last Wednesday inside a crate and covered in debris outside the abandoned home on Flint Avenue. The home was formerly listed to Barthelmess.

The circumstances surrounding Wichelns' death are still unknown. Police say they are looking for information from people who may have known him, or Barthelmess.

Police said Thursday that the elderly man had not been seen since between 2004 and 2006.

Barthelmess is being held in the Herkimer County Jail.

People with information on Wichelns or Barthelmess is asked to called investigators at 315-866-7275.

What's On