Debra Schafer decided to research the family tree of her new son-in-law. She got a surprise when she found him, including his date of birth and his Social Security Number, on Ancestry.com's Social Security Death Index. Apparently, Ross died in a motorcycle accident in 1982. Yet the man calling himself William Jodee Ross was very much alive. It seems that the her new son-in-law wasn't the person he claimed to be.
When arrested, the man claiming to be William Jodee Ross of Bakersfield, California refused to give his real name. However, police took a DNA sample and soon identified him as Timothy Rodger O'Neil, age 47. Family members of the actual William Ross confirmed he was dead and that O'Neil, whose picture they were given, was not Ross.
O'Neil worked at several jobs, got married, purchased a house and vehicles, and obtained Social Security and other benefits under Ross' name, police have said. He reportedly has a police record, including arrests for spousal abuse, spousal rape, assault with a deadly weapon, battery causing great bodily injury, vandalism, petty theft, and obstructing an officer, the reports filed by the Bakersfield Police Department say.
Timothy Rodger O'Neil, 47, pleaded no contest on Friday to a felony count of unauthorized use of another person's identifying information. A count of marrying under a false name was dismissed. Superior Court Judge Colette Humphrey scheduled O'Neil's sentencing for April 4.
Debra Schafer, attended her son-in-law's hearing on Friday. She said she's not happy with the plea deal. "I was expecting a longer sentence," Schafer said.