Sarasota woman accused of killing her mother by using combination of sedatives, painkillers

First Degree Murder Arrest

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota woman was arrested last week after investigators allege she killed her disabled mother using a combination of sedatives and painkillers.

Josephine Scheid, 36, was arrested Thursday, Nov. 7 at her home on Trails Drive on a warrant for first degree murder out of Cape May County, New Jersey. Prosecutors allege Scheid killed her mother, Gabrielle Michaelis, using a lethal amount of sedatives and painkillers in order to benefit financially.

Prosecutors say they began investigating in December 2018 after receiving a tip about a suspicious death. In September 2019, the Chief State Medical Examiner ruled Michaelis’ manner of death a homicide and the cause of death as intoxication due to hydromorphine, alprazolam and lorazepam.

Prosecutors say Michaelis was disabled and was unable to care for herself and Scheid purposely over-medicated her mother to keep her in a semi-conscious to comatose state, ultimately leading to Michaelis’ death.

In addition to first degree murder, Scheid is facing charges of second degree computer criminal activity and third degree misapplication of trusted property for allegedly transferring $9,000 into her personal account from her mother’s estate, third degree perjury for allegedly lying to investigators, and fourth degree tampering with evidence and fourth degree obstruction of the administration of law for allegedly deleting information from her mother’s cell phone.

She’s also charged with third degree abandonment/neglect of an elderly person, third degree endangering an injured victim, and third degree restraint.

An obituary for Michaelis says she formerly lived in Bradenton before moving to Belleplain, New Jersey. She died at the age of 58 on October 31, 2018.

Scheid is currently awaiting extradition.

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