Police: La Verkin woman admitted to stealing her 93-year-old neighbor’s narcotic pain medication, replacing it with Tylenol

Southern Utah

LA VERKIN (ABC4 News) – A La Verkin woman who pleaded guilty to stealing prescription medications in July was arrested Tuesday evening after allegedly taking an elderly woman’s opioid pain medication and replacing it with Tylenol.

Rya Plumb, 27, was formally charged in 5th District Court Wednesday with aggravated abuse of an elderly adult, drug possession, theft, and failing to keep a controlled substance in its original container.

La Verkin Police Chief Ben Lee told ABC4 News the two women knew each other through church and the suspect would visit the victim at her home every few weeks.

Plumb would immediately go into the victim’s personal bathroom when she would visit and offered to pick up the woman’s prescription for her in December.

Quickly, the 93-year-old woman learned her much-needed oxycodone prescription used to treat a painful medical condition wasn’t having the same effect as it used to, according to authorities.

Authorities say the victim, who was also Plumb’s neighbor, was running out of her pills before she was due for a refill. The victim was in “so much pain that she broke down crying” to officers, according to the police affidavit.

Police examined the bottle and learned the pills were acetaminophen, generally known as Tylenol, not the victim’s prescribed oxycodone.

“It upsets me a great deal in the fact that those are our most vulnerable people: our elderly, our youth, and our children,” Lee said. “Those are the people that we need to protect the most.”

Authorities consulted the victim’s doctor, who agreed to refill the prescription. Soon, Plumb arrived at the woman’s home to deliver the pills, despite the victim telling her the pharmacy would deliver them. At that point, the elderly woman contacted police, according to Lee. Again, police learned the pills had been replaced with Tylenol.

Officers drafted and obtained a search warrant of Plumb’s home and vehicle and arrested her at the residence Tuesday evening. On scene, Plumb allegedly told her husband she “messed up again,” the affidavit shows.

“People need to make sure their prescriptions are locked up, away from children and from other individuals, because you just don’t know,” said Lee.

Police said Plumb showed them the narcotics stashed away in her bedroom closet. Officers also recovered an empty Tylenol box in her vehicle.

In July, Plumb pleaded guilty to burglary and theft after breaking into a Washington City home and stealing a bottle of prescription medication.

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