A New York mother and son, being held by New York police on a bad check charge in Utah, have been formally linked to a deed signed by missing millionaire Irene Silverman and have been indicted on credit card fraud.

A notarized deed transferring ownership of Silverman's townhouse to Sante Kimes and her son was among items found in Sante Kimes' gym bag, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has confirmed."That deed is being analyzed, the signature is being analyzed to see if it's a forgery," Morgenthau said Wednesday. The deed has Silverman's signature on it. She disappeared July 5.

It was the first time officials have said publicly that the deed was in the black bag. Several news organizations reported last week that the deed had been found.

Morgenthau also said police were doing ballistic tests on a .22-caliber handgun found in the bag. Investigators want to know if the gun was the same one used to kill David Kazdin of Los Angeles. Kazdin, a former business partner of the Kimeses, was found March 14 in Los Angeles.

The Kimeses have not been charged in Silverman's disappearance. But they became suspects after several pieces of the 82-year-old woman's identification cards and financial documents were found in their car.

The Kimeses were arrested in New York July 5 on an unrelated federal warrant for a bad check charge out of Utah. They are being held without bail.

The gym bag was retrieved from the Plaza Hotel last week by a private investigator hired by the Kimeses. The police obtained a subpoena for the bag and it was brought to Morgenthau's office last Friday.

In a closed-door meeting Monday between defense attorneys and prosecutors, Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Herbert J. Adlerberg ordered the bag's contents be vouchered for the proceedings.

The Kimeses are also being investigated in the disappearances of at least two people - a Bahamian banker and a San Diego businessman - and in the homicide of a Los Angeles businessman.

In a 17-count indictment unsealed Friday, the couple is charged with multiple counts of forgery in the second degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.

Sante Kimes, 63, had the credit card on her when she was arrested, Morgenthau said.

They allegedly used the Mastercard at the Pierre Hotel on June 16, 17, 20 and 21, spending $59.25, $60.34 and $99.44 for dinner, and spent $24 and $22 on drinks.

At the Park Lane Hotel, Kenneth Kimes, 23, allegedly had dinner for $125 on June 22, and the following day, spent $175.85 for dinner, Morgenthau said.

Sante Kimes allegedly spent $113 at the Chanel boutique on June 16, he added. It was not known what she bought.

The pair allegedly used the credit card just days after renting an apartment in Silverman's townhouse for $6,000 a month.

The Kimeses somehow obtained the Florida man's social security number and birthdate and were able to get the credit card mailed to them at a Florida address, said Assistant District Attorney Connie Fernandez. She said they apparently got that information over the telephone but did not know who gave it to them.

Meanwhile, the search of Silverman remains in high gear, said Chief of Detectives William H. Allee Jr.

"All of us hope that the worst didn't happen to her," Allee said. "Our hearts tell us one thing, our experience tells us something else."