They lost both of their parents. Yet they lived in a strong tight-knit community. The one thing the three Timpanaro teens thought they couldn’t lose was trust.
But that’s just what happened to Nicole Timpanaro, 19, and her 17-year-old twin brothers, Anthony and Louis. They thought they could trust a well-liked member of the community, a woman identified as both a Boy Scout leader and PTO president who set up a “Meal Train” fundraiser for them.
That woman, Kellyann Nielsen Carney, 43, was arrested Tuesday by the Northvale Police Department and charged with stealing more than $9,000 from the online fundraiser she set up for the Timpanaro family.
Nicole claims that Carney, who was her brothers’ scout leader, started stealing money within just weeks after setting up the Meal Train in February.
“This was the farthest thing from my mind, that something like this could happen,” Nicole told Patch.
Carney was charged with misapplication of entrusted property, a third-degree crime. She was released on her own recognizance, police said.
Nicole said Carney was merely an acquaintance when she reached out to help soon after her mother, Theresa, died in February at age 50. Their father, Donald, died in 2011 when he was just 44.
“My mother never talked to her on the phone or anything,” she said. But because Northvale’s such a tight-knit community, she didn’t think it was suspicious. If anybody did anything bad, people would know about it.
“I didn’t think anything of it. My family thought nothing of it,” she said.
The questions about Carney’s alleged behavior started when a representative from the victim’s family made multiple attempts to contact Carney via the telephone, and through their attorney, police said. Those attempts were ignored.
Those questions lingered through the summer, and the family talked to police. By August and September, after a lengthy investigation, the police moved forward with charges.
“It’s been a long 2 weeks,” said Nicole, who hasn’t been able to go to college because she can’t afford it.
The Meal Train page is actually still active, and it’s raised more than $10,000. It’s not clear if the family is going to be reimbursed for what has been taken.
For Nicole, it’s just all “weird.”
“I just didn’t think anybody could do something like that,” she said. “Nothing about it was suspicious”
Photo courtesy of Nicole Timpanaro, showing herself and her mother and two brothers