WINTERVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

A former cafeteria manager at a Pitt County middle school has been arrested for allegedly embezzling almost $40,000.

LaTonya Lee Ross, 40, of Ayden, was placed into the Pitt County Detention Center Thursday under a $20,000 bond on two felony counts of embezzlement.

Ross, a former cafeteria manager at A.G. Cox Middle School on Church Street in Winterville, allegedly embezzled $26,523.75 from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, according to Winterville Police. Ross then allegedly embezzled $12,143.40 between July 1, 2013 to January 2014, warrants show.

Investigators did not say exactly how the suspect embezzled the money. There is no word on when she resigned from Pitt County Schools.

We spoke with neighbors who say they don't believe she would do something like this, including her landlord, Doug Dietrich.

Dietrich says Ross has been a tenant of his for about four months. Since then, Ross has been struggling to get her rent paid, but has always been a pleasant tenant.

"Before I can make any judgements, I would like to hear a lot more. Somebody would have to prove it to me," Dietrich said. "This is not one of the people I would've expected anything like this from. I have been in the house, there's nothing that I can see of value or extreme value. Those people have not been living extravagantly, they've been very good, quiet tenants."

Ross is expected to have her first court appearance on Friday morning.