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74-year-old Baldwin County man's niece accused of concealing his death, taking Social Security payments

The Jones County Sheriff's Office found Frederick Stephens' body back in December 2021 on Cheehaw Trail.

JONES COUNTY, Ga. — A woman has been arrested by the Jones County Sheriff's Office for allegedly concealing the death of a 74-year-old Baldwin County man, according to a post on the Jones County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page.

Dafrendia Stephens is accused of leaving the body of her uncle, Frederick Stephens, on a dirt road, Cheehaw Trail, in Jones County.

His body was found back in December 2021, according to the sheriff's office. It took 18 months for the sheriff's office to identify his body.

The Jones County Sheriff's Office says Stephens concealed his death to use his social security money for personal use, the sheriff's Facebook page said.

While they don't know his cause of death, they say he likely died of natural causes.

According to the sheriff's office, every month Dafrendia would withdraw every penny from Frederick Stephen's Social Security funds.

 "My grandmother constantly preached that money was the cause of most evil," the Jones County Sheriff's Office said in their Facebook post. "Greed is a very wicked force."

The sheriff's office also said she had offered different stories about where Frederick had gone. She once said that he left on his own to live with other family members, but another time, said she placed him into a retirement home, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office commissioned a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic artist to help identify the body.

And after receiving a tip that it could be Frederick Stephens, they secured a DNA sample from his sister, which confirmed the identity, they said.

"There are those who advocate for free housing, food, and medical care," the Jones County Sheriff's Office said. "She is currently housed in our gated community, where she will now receive all of those things, free of charge to her."

Dafrendia Stephens is charged with concealing a death and abandonment of a dead body, and the sheriff's office says that they will meet with the the district attorney to consider more charges.

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