Bank employees told police David Vanzo's mother "was slumped over and unresponsive" in the chair

By Chris Harris
Updated March 19, 2016 12:00 PM
Advertisement
Image
Credit: Plymouth Police Dept

A 57-year-old Minnesota man allegedly wheeled his unresponsive mother into a bank to withdraw cash mere hours before her dead body was discovered in their home amidst “deplorable” conditions, charging documents obtained by PEOPLE state.

According to the documents, David Vanzo allegedly neglected his 90-year-old mother, Caryl Vanzo, for more than two years and continually exploited the ailing woman financially.

Between the summer of 2012 and her death on Jan. 5, 2015, Vanzo allegedly took more than $250,000 from Caryl’s accounts while also depriving her of food, shelter, health care and supervision.

The night she died, police arrived at Caryl’s house to find her not breathing and cold to the touch. Her body was allegedly in a bed, dressed in a fake fur coat, a green robe and black boots.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

According to Vanzo’s arrest report, Caryl’s bed was “heavily soiled” and apparently “soaked with urine.” Caryl’s body was also covered in “extreme” bed sores, according to investigators.

Caryl’s home was allegedly in a “deplorable” state, with trash and bloodied rags strewn throughout, police say. There were holes in most of the walls and the carpet was stained black, police say.

“The lower level bathroom was incomprehensibly unsanitary,” the arrest report states. “The toilet was covered in mold and appeared to be leaking onto the floor, and the bathroom sink was full of garbage and medication.”

Vanzo’s charging papers claim he allegedly brought his mother to her bank six hours before he called 911 to report her death.

Bank employees told police the mother allegedly “was slumped over and unresponsive” in her wheelchair, and that her feet were “dragging on the floor as defendant wheeled her out of the bank after obtaining cash,” the report reads.

Vanzo allegedly hired a cab to drive him and his mother home, and then used the same taxi to go to a fast food restaurant for dinner.

Vanzo has been charged with two counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and one count each of criminal neglect and attempted theft by swindle.

He was arrested Thursday in Pomona, California, and will be extradited to Minnesota before the end of the month.

In announcing the charges, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman called the case one of the first felony criminal neglect cases his office has prosecuted since legislation was enacted three years ago calling for stiffer punishments and penalties for offenders.

“The horrible way he treated his mother is exactly why we wanted the upgraded charge and tougher penalty,” Freeman told reporters.

Vanzo has yet to hire an attorney, court records show.

Freeman claims Vanzo began living with his mother in 2007 and five years later was given power of attorney over her finances.