Business owner responsible for taking Army widow’s $87k, arrested

OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. (WAFF) – A contractor that took over $87,000 from a widow of an Army veteran to build a home, and never followed through, has been arrested.

Brittany Story’s husband, Army Sergeant Justin Story, died by suicide in May 2020 after suffering from severe PTSD.

Brittany Story wanted to build a new home for her and her three children when she hired Walt Vernon O’Dare.

In 2021, Brittany Story reported to the Owens Cross Roads Police Department that she had paid O’Dare, $87,560 to build a home. O’Dare took the payment up front, but never returned it to Brittany and the home was never built.

After the report was made to police, a felony arrest warrant for first-degree theft was obtained for O’Dare in March 2021.

O’Dare was arrested in 2021 on similar charges, but was released due to issues with COVID-19. However, investigators located O’Dare and he was arrested and booked into the Madison County Jail on June 23.

O’Dare’s bond has been set at $150,000.

Detective Jason White released the following statement:

“Thanks to members of the Anderson County, Grainger County and Knox County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Offices, O’Dare was arrested again in Tennessee. We would especially like to thank Sheriff James Harville of the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office who handled the transfer of O’Dare into our custody today by personally authorizing one of his deputies to meet myself and Chief Dobbins halfway in Chattanooga.”

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