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Elderly LA woman held against will in Maine

Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies arrested Barbara Davis, 41; her twin brother Nicholas Davis; and 20-year-old Jonathan Stevens, who the Davises described as their godson.

July 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities in Maine say a Los Angeles woman may have been the victim in an elderly endangerment case. Investigators say suspects allegedly took her across the U.S., took her money and then abandoned her.

Detectives say 41-year-old twins Barbara and Nicholas Davis befriended the 85-year-old victim a few years ago in the Los Angeles area.

In 2009, the elderly woman sold her Southern California home and moved into an apartment with the Davises.

Detectives say that it was shortly afterward that the Davises took the woman, moving her from state to state before they were arrested last week in Maine.

For the 85-year-old woman, the nightmare finally ended inside a cabin in Edgecomb, Maine, last Tuesday. She had been left there for days with no contact and very little food.

"She actually was in pretty good condition. She could sit up, she was talking. The weather here at that time was about 93 degrees, which is pretty hot for Maine. The inside of this cabin was shut up, so I'd say it was at least 100 if not hotter inside," said Lincoln County Sheriff's Detective Robert McFetridge.

A short time later, Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies arrested three people: Barbara Davis, 41; her twin brother Nicholas Davis; and 20-year-old Jonathan Stevens, who the Davises described as their godson.

Detectives say these three took the elderly woman from Los Angeles two years ago, driving her from state to state, staying a few days, sometimes a couple months there, before landing in Maine.

The victim told detectives she was allowed no contact with other people and that the Davises took control of all her money.

"They, for her, had converted it to assets and put it into a trust and had purchased other properties with it," said McFetridge. "We're still trying to track all of this down."

Barbara and Nicholas Davis and Jonathan Stevens were released on $10,000 bail and are due in court September 29.

They face a felony charge of endangering the welfare of a dependent person, with more charges possible.

Investigators in Maine say the elderly woman has no known family or friends at this time, and that there are no missing-person reports filed in Southern California that match the victim.

Maureen Symonds from the group Senior Concerns says the elderly woman was an easy target. "It's really hard to get seniors who have no cognizant impairment to kind of live their own lives to actually go out and seek others," Symonds said. "You invite someone into your home to take care of you. It's easy. Once they're in your home, they become rip-off artists."

They hope to release her identity sometime in the next couple days.

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