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Forsyth arson suspect transferred to Hall County

Graf held in medical isolation after possible drug overdose

POSTED: April 16, 2009 11:30 p.m.

A missing arson suspect who turned up last week in a Northeast Georgia hospital has been transferred to medical isolation at the jail in Hall County.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Dennis Nelson said Pamela Morrow Graf, 47, was released Monday from Northside Hospital-Forsyth, where she was being treated for what authorities described as a possible drug overdose.

"She needed some more treatment and this way kept us from having to put a 24-hour guard (at the hospital)," Nelson said.

He said Graf likely will return to Forsyth County’s custody once she is medically cleared.

"Them (Hall) being a much more modern jail and much better access to the medical facilities keeps us from having to keep her at the hospital," he said.

Authorities were alerted April 9 when Graf arrived at Banks Jackson Commerce Medical Center in Commerce. It is not clear if she was brought in an ambulance or checked herself in. She was taken later that day to Northside Forsyth.

Graf, who faces drug charges in Forsyth and Twiggs counties, vanished late last month after she apparently removed an electronic monitoring device and failed to appear for court in Jeffersonville.

Robert Tavenier, director of Forsyth County Pretrial Services, said authorities found the ankle monitor on the side of a Twiggs road, and the rubber strap had been cut.

Forsyth authorities issued a warrant for Graf’s arrest for tampering with the device, which is a felony. Twiggs issued an arrest warrant for her failure to appear in court.

Graf was released from the local jail March 24 after she posted bond on a charge of driving under the influence of drugs.

Shortly after that arrest, the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office announced its intent to have Graf’s bond revoked.

The ankle monitor was a requirement of her previous bond, posted March 2, on charges of arson, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of Schedule 3 and 4 narcotics.

The arson charge stems from a suspicious fire Jan. 18 that burned Graf’s home near Lake Lanier to the ground. Authorities say she and her boyfriend, Steve Edward Strobel, set the blaze to commit insurance fraud.

Graf claimed the couple was in Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration, though authorities have not been able to confirm that.



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