Emily Dewey’s family raising money for legal fight against man they claim took advantage of her just before she died

Body: 

MADISON, Wis. – The family of Emily Dewey, the widow of a murdered Mahnomen County sheriff’s deputy, has launched an online fundraiser to pay for a legal battle against a man they say took advantage of her shortly before she died.

A GoFundMe page titled “Fighting for the Deweys” was launched late Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a goal of raising $18,000. The post says an attorney estimated it will cost $18,000 or more to contest in court that Dewey’s last will and testament is fraudulent, according to the page.

Dewey, 33, died of health complications from alcoholism on Jan. 31 in Denver, where she had been living for about a year and a half.

Her late husband, Deputy Chris Dewey, was shot in the head and stomach in February 2009 while investigating a report of a drunken driver in Mahnomen, Minn. He died from complications from his injuries on Aug. 9, 2010.

The GoFundMe page says Dewey told family a few weeks before her death that she was entering hospice as her body “was giving out.” The family feared she was being taken advantage of in her final months by a man claiming to be her boyfriend who came and went and then resurfaced at the end of her life, according to the page.

“In the last 24 hours of her life, this man took Em to his attorney and had her make him the executor of her estate. She also changed him to be the beneficiary of the money she received when Christopher was killed. One professional that she dealt on her final day with said that he has never experienced anything like it. He described hearing this man and an attorney coach Em, as she made these incredibly important decisions, in the final hours of her life. I spoke to Em just hours before this and she clearly was not healthy in mind or body,” read the fundraising campaign description.

According to the GoFundMe page, the situation has caused a “dispute over everything that belonged to Emily.” Her remains are in a crematorium, the page said, and the man, who was not identified in the post, is contesting their release to relatives. The page said the man has also not returned Chris Dewey’s ashes to family members.