Former state employee accused of stealing identity from dead 4-month-old

Johnny Shaver, Courtesy WBTV
Johnny Shaver, Courtesy WBTV

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –
A former state employee, who worked at UNCC is now facing criminal charges. Investigators said he stole a name to get his job, buy a home and buy a car. A family in Newton says he was using their son’s name who died in 1969.

Forrest Mark Shook died 47 years ago, but his parents, Forrest and Sara Shook said this investigation makes the day he died feel very fresh. They didn’t do an on-camera interview, but shared their story with WBTV.

4-month-old Forrest Mark Shook, Courtesy WBTV
4-month-old Forrest Mark Shook, Courtesy WBTV

Sara Shook said 47 years ago her first son died at Duke after being home for only three weeks in Newton, North Carolina. Visiting hours ended at 7 p.m. and he died five minutes before 7 p.m. She says she visits her son’s grave in Newton every day. She tells him how much she loves and misses him. She often wonders what he would have looked like if he didn’t die at 4 months old.

When she was shown a photo of Johnny Shaver earlier this week by investigators, she said he looks nothing like any of her four children. She was surprised to learn 48-year-old Shaver is accused of using her son’s name Forrest Mark Shook for years. Investigators told her for 24 years Shaver had her son’s social security card.

State records show Forrest M. Shook worked for the state for 20 years. He worked at UNCC in venue management. When WBTV asked UNCC about Shook, they said Shaver’s mug shot was the man they knew as Shook.

“Mr. Shook is no longer employed with UNC Charlotte. He resigned his position following a state-initiated investigation. The university will make no comment as long as the investigation remains active,” said a UNCC spokesperson.

When WBTV called Johnny Shaver’s phone number to ask him how he found the name of a dead baby, he responded to the name Forrest. He referred WBTV to his lawyer who said they would not comment on the case.

Shaver is facing two charges, identity theft and obtaining property under false pretense. The warrants filed state Shaver possessed and used the social security card and driver’s license of a another person. Also, the false pretense is working for the state under a name of Forrest Mark Shook knowing that to not be his true name.

A criminal records’ check in North Carolina shows he was convicted of a DWI in 1989.

The Shooks want to ask Shaver why he did it. They say investigators told them Shaver tried to get a duplicate birth certificate when he was flagged because there was a death certificate on file. They are not angry with him. Sara Shook says being caught is punishment enough.

Forrest Shook says he is terribly upset and he would like to see Shaver serve some hard time.

Shaver is out on bail. His next scheduled court date is November 15, 2016.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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