Money stolen from fund benefiting family of slain Alabama police officer

Officials in northern Alabama are searching for someone who stole $1,700 from a memorial fund set up for the family of a Huntsville police officer who was shot and killed during a drug bust in December.

According to Huntsville Police Department Lt. Tony McElyea, the money was deducted in three transactions from the account, which was set up in December, WHNT reported.

The account was set up for the family of Huntsville Officer Billy Clardy III, a drug task force agent, who was killed Dec. 6 during a drug bust, reported. The accused shooter, Lajeromeny Brown, was charged with capital murder, WHNT reported.

Clardy's father, also a Huntsville police officer, died in an on-duty crash more in 1978, according to reported.

McElyea said the first withdrawal occurred Dec. 17 and totaled $1,282.63, WAAY reported. The second withdrawal, for $450, took place Dec. 23, and $28 was withdrawn four days later, the television station reported.

"My heart hurts for the family and also the citizens that contributed to the donation account," McElyea told WHNT. "Obviously they were using their hard-earned money to donate and lift the spirits and help any way they can for the Clardy family."

The Huntsville Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit is investigating along with Redstone Federal Credit Union. The account has been frozen, and no money can be withdrawn for now, WHNT reported.

“Redstone Federal Credit Union was made aware of three unauthorized electronic withdrawals from this account," Jonathan Kirby, Redstone’s vice president of security and investigations, said in a statement. “We reimbursed the account and launched our own investigation as is customary in these incidences. We continue to work with law enforcement on this matter.”

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