Director of home for girls, his wife indicted on embezzlement
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 6:00 PM
The former director of Happiness Hill Christian Home for girls on Deemer Road and his wife were arrested last week on an indictment charging them with embezzlement.
The indictment charged that Jack Lee High, 70, of 11871 Road 505, and Karen Lynn High, 68, same address, embezzled $25,000 or more from the Christian home, a mission of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Lafayette, Ind.
A Neshoba County grand jury handed down the indictment during its December session. The two were booked at the county jail Thursday.
They were initially arrested in April 2016 after a state audit showed that $210,313.36 was missing from the home, Sheriff Tommy Waddell said.
However, he said a separate in-house audit showed $383,251.05 was missing.
High was director of Happiness Hill and his wife was secretary/treasurer, Waddell said.
The Highs are no longer employed by the home.
Authorities were notified of the missing funds on March 8, 2016, by William Murdock, chairman of the board of Lighthouse Baptist Church.
Happiness Hill was founded in 1991 by Raymond and Kaye Palmer. It is a home for young ladies between the ages of 13-17 who want and are willing to receive help.
According to their website, many of the young ladies have been abused, neglected and unwanted. Some may be caught up in alcohol, drugs, being with the wrong crowd, rebellion and some may just have no one to care for them, the website said.
Among the home’s financial supporting ministries in this area at the time of their arrests were: Arlington, Calvary and Enon Baptist churches and First Baptist Church of Union and Greenland Baptist Church of Union.
A home for boys was later opened called the Solid Rock Boy’s Home.
The two homes are located within five miles of each other on Road 505, better known as Deemer Road.