Army widow out $87k; business owner responsible can’t be located

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Her husband served years in the military before his death. Now, a widow says she lost thousands of dollars from her husband’s military life insurance.

In the last year this woman has endured two serious tragedies.

Brittany Story’s husband, Sergeant Justin Story, served in the United States Army for more than six years. He served two tours in Iraq and Kuwait. After his time in infantry he became a recruiter for the Army.

Unfortunately, Story suffered from severe PTSD and in May 2020 he died by suicide.

Brittany wanted a fresh start and had plans to build a new home in New Market with their three children.

Less than six months after her husband’s tragic death, Brittany Story hired Trilogy Construction based in Middle Tennessee, to build the home of her dreams. “It was on a bunch of land so my kids could grow up there, we would have horses, it was going to be a little farmhouse,” said Brittany Story. “It was going to be great. Guess it’s not going to happen now.”

Story said the owner of the company, Walt Odare, wrote a contract and told Story work would begin on her new farmhouse no later than the first week in January.

“I know in total, I sent him $87,500. He took me out there to put the stakes down to where the house was supposed to go. I did that and he hasn’t contacted me since.”

Since December, Story has tried contacting Odare multiple times, with no luck.

48 News also tried calling, every day for a week we called his cell phone and the business phone line. We left emails with his personal and professional accounts. His phones were turned off and our emails went unanswered.

“He didn’t just steal it from me, he stole it from my kids. That was meant for my kids to have a better life and he knew that. The first day I met him we talked about it.”

The Coffee County Tennessee Sheriff’s office said they’ve had a long history with Odare. In 2010 Odare was charged with worthless checks and forgery.

“I called my bank and told them, all this money that I wired to this man was fraud. I told them he was supposed to build my house, but he just took my money and nothing has been done. They filed a report with his bank, his bank called my bank back and said we tried to get the money back for her because this has happened with other people but all, not just one, of his accounts are completely empty.”

Story doubts she will ever get the money back, and because of that, she will likely not be able to build a new home. She hopes to warn others, so no one else makes this mistake.

“Do your research better than I did. He was a good talker, so I believed everything he said. There was no truth to anything he said.”

Odare’s family said they have also not been able to reach him since we started calling.

An investigator with Owens Cross Roads Police Department told us the department is still working to gather information.

The investigator said he believes this is the first time Odare has done something like this in Madison County.

A GoFundMe account was created to help the Story Family. Click here.

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