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Former PTO treasurer on the lam for embezzlement

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Missing money leads to a missing mom. A woman who volunteered at her daughter’s elementary school is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars.

Every year, schools across the country hold fundraisers to pay for special student and teacher activities. Imagine how you’d feel if someone stole all that money from your kids’ school. Parents in the Lindbergh School District know.

“I was so disgusted that someone would steal from the elementary school,” said parent Courtney Menard.

Parents are still upset by allegations against 33-year-old Winifred Wright.

Wright was the treasurer of the parent teacher group at Sappington Elementary School. Court documents indicate between June 2011 and June 2014, Wright stole more than $34,000 from the group’s bank accounts. She has since disappeared.

The missing money was discovered when Wright was to meet at the bank with the new group treasurer to hand over the duties, but Wright did not show up for the meeting.

“That’s outrageous that somebody would do that to our kids,” said parent David Jackson.

Newspapers piled up in the suspect’s front yard. Neighbors said her husband and children moved out four months ago, which was months after she disappeared.

After the missing money incident came to light, the school sent a letter to parents telling them several changes have been made to make sure the group’s cash is safe, with multiple people now keeping an eye on the accounts and expenditures.

“I feel better about writing a check and knowing that it’s going to go to the proper place,” Menard said.

And if there is anything good that came out of this terrible crime, it’s that parents joined together and made sure the many programs the group pays to put on for students and teacher year still took place. They didn’t miss a beat.

If she’s ever found, parents would like Wright to return the money.

“She should return it, but jail or something needs to happen also along with it,” Jackson said.

Wright has been charged with felony stealing of more than $25,000.