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Family reacts to finding out their nanny is a New York fugitive

A North Carolina family hired a nanny from New York to watch their kids. She ended up being a wanted fugitive.
Family reacts to finding out their nanny is a New York fugitive
Posted at 8:09 AM, Mar 13, 2024

Imagine finding out the woman who's been watching your children, driving your car and spending hours in your house is a wanted fugitive from another state.

That's the reality for the Leochko family in North Carolina.

"We feel exposed and we feel very vulnerable," said Garrett Leochko, who's originally from southern Ontario.

Scripps News Buffalo learned Friday that a Western New York woman was accused of stealing nearly $500,000 from St. Amelia Church in Tonawanda, a suburb of Buffalo. That's the woman they hired to be their nanny.

SEE MORE: Texas most wanted fugitive captured after nearly 10 years on the run

Garrett and his wife Leah are new to North Carolina; they moved from a suburb outside Toronto and were in need of care for their four children, ages 7, 6, 5, and 4.

"We were desperate, wife traveling and me working. She came in one morning, met all the kids. It was an instant fit, her being from Buffalo, I think the initial conversation with my wife, it was nice because familiarity breeds comfort," Garrett Leochko said.

The nanny, Lisa Prynn-Noble, went by the name Julie Wilson. Leah Leochko found her online. Her husband Garrett says she was great at her job, firm but fair, and that the kids loved her.

"Being with the kids was probably a good blanket or a good shield for her because they probably weren't expecting her if anyone had an eye out to be someone with children and doing all these activities, but she didn't shy away from public life," said Garrett Leochko.

He said she never asked for extra money, and she actually often took the kids out and footed the bill herself, buying them gifts often.

Her March 8 arrest

Prynn-Noble was out with the children on Friday at a library when her time on the run came to an end. U.S. marshals reached out to Leah Leochko to tell her they arrested Prynn-Noble and her children were safe.

Garrett Leochko says while their trust is broken and they have to hunt for a new nanny, he feels his children were never in danger.

"We're not a victim, we're just collateral damage, so it's more we're in shock and it also just shows how easy this can happen," he said.

New York thefts

A doctor says he was conned when Noble was his business manager in 2022.

"I lost everything," said Dr. David Nelson.

Nelson ran Audiology Service Associates with two locations in Western New York. He says he's since had to close his doors because Prynn-Noble was taking money from him.

He claims she stole well over $500,000.

"She makes people feel very good about her ... then she takes whatever money she can," said Nelson.

He's now trying to piece things together when he should be retiring. His message: Be careful who you trust.

"I'm glad to see that she was caught; obviously she needs to be in prison for a very long time to protect other people," said Nelson.

What happens to her now?

Scripps News Buffalo reached out to the U.S. Marshals Service and the Erie County District Attorney's Office and both said they can't comment yet.

The local district attorney's office confirmed Noble is still in custody in North Carolina and will be brought back to Western New York as long as she doesn't fight the extradition process. 

A spokesperson from the Buffalo Diocese, representing St. Amelia's, says they don't have any comment just yet either.

This story was originally published by Taylor Epps for Scripps News Buffalo. 

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