Fraud Charge Added in Killing of Nevada Car Dealer

April 9, 2010

A Nevada woman accused of murdering her ex-husband and burying him on his ranch in 2008 has also been charged with conspiring with two adult children to fake her own death to collect insurance benefits.

Nazira Maria Cross was charged last year with the poisoning death of Michael Cross, 55, who owned car dealerships in Reno and Lovelock, Nev.

Authorities say she killed him at his home Chilcoot, Calif., then buried his body on his Lovelock ranch. They believe she has fled to her native Costa Rica.

The couple divorced in January 2008, and his body was found Aug. 2, 2008. She originally told detectives that he died of natural causes and she buried him.

The Nevada attorney general’s office brought the new fraud charges in a warrant against Nazira Cross, her daughter Natasha Jonsonn and son Runar Edwin Jonsonn.

Detectives allege Nazira was the mastermind and listed her children as the beneficiaries of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Authorities believe Runar Jonsson fled to Costa Rica, but Natasha Jonsonn, 22, was booked into the Washoe County Jail on Tuesday and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for later this month.

According to court records, Natasha Jonsonn allegedly provided false information to insurance companies including forged foreign death certificates and stated her mother had been in Ecuador receiving treatment for terminal cancer when she was killed in March 2008.

Investigators said she admitted the scam to Reno police detectives during an interview following Michael Cross’ death, five months later.

“Natasha Jonsonn said that her mother was the one who created this scheme and Natasha Jonsonn did not want anything to do with it,” according to court records reflecting what she told detectives. “Natasha Jonsonn said she knew it was wrong and she could go to jail for participating.”

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