SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is investigating one of its own deputies for allegations of misconduct involving an elderly woman.
It’s an investigation that was reportedly sparked by a call for help. Sources tell FOX40 within days of that call, the elderly victim was left with nothing.
“Completely out of the realm of what we’d expect of officers, as well as just people in general,” said Sheriff Scott Jones.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephanie Angel, who has been with the department for 14 years, is on paid administrative leave. She promised to protect and serve but is now under investigation.
The case started at a home on Thomas Drive in North Highlands, where a 74-year-old woman lived alone.
“She’s either in the front yard playing with cards, or she’s waving at everybody, or feeding her cats,” said neighbor Nyairee Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick and her neighbors have always kept a close eye on the woman since her husband died in 2016. Her name is Rosalie.
“It seemed like she was showing either Alzheimer’s or dementia,” Fitzpatrick told FOX40.
They say Rosalie or “Miss Lynn” is easily confused but always friendly, sometimes a bit too friendly.
“She has a lot of trust in people and lets everybody just in her house,” Fitzpatrick said.
This past January, Rosalie called police over issues with someone who was supposed to be caring for her. FOX40 has learned Deputy Angel responded to the call.
A video of Angel back in 2011 shows her holding a press conference after her ex-husband was involved in near fatal accident.
“She did have contact with this woman and during the course of her employment as a deputy went to a call for service at her residence and that appears to be where the two met. And all of the transactions that occurred subsequent to that occurred after that period of time,” Jones said.
Soon after, neighbors told FOX40 they started seeing Angel at Rosalie’s home more often, in and out of uniform.
“There’s been at least two out of three times I saw that same blond officer walking through the gate into the house,” said neighbor Dan Sobottka.
A source close to the investigation says Angel broke into Rosalie’s safe deposit box at a bank and stole her jewelry.
“We’re still reviewing some information,” Jones said. “We executed several warrants in this particular criminal investigation.”
Within days, Angel gained power of attorney and moved Rosalie out of the home she’s lived in for decades.
“There was just a big ol’ moving truck, people taking everything out of the house and throwing it away, and then the police officer was there for like ten minutes,” Fitzpatrick told FOX40. “I was like, ‘Oh, where are you guys taking her?’ She was like, ‘We found her another house. It’s assisted living where nurses are there but she’ll have her own house.'”
Fitzpatrick said she was suspicious from the start.
“Miss Lynn was like, ‘I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to go to a housing facility. I don’t want to be around nurses,'” Fitzpatrick said. “And the police officer was like, ‘Oh no, remember I took you to that really nice place? We’re going to go back there for a while.’ And Miss Lynn was like, ‘Well OK.'”
Rosalie never came home again.
“Everybody was getting weird feelings like, ‘I wonder how Miss Lynn is. Where’s Miss Lynn? She hasn’t even came to check on her house,'” Fitzpatrick said.
Where the elderly woman went turned into a mystery. But FOX40 has learned investigators found Rosalie and she wasn’t at a nursing home.
According to a source close to the investigation, Angel got a passport for the woman and bought her a ticket to the Philippines, her home country — where her family wasn’t expecting her.
A source also tells FOX40 there is surveillance video of Angel walking Rosalie to the gate at the Sacramento International Airport.
“One of our concerns early on was where the victim was. We didn’t know where she was. So we set to trying to find her and we were able to do that through the U.S. Marshals and the FBI,” Jones told FOX40. “We were able to locate her. We actually sent a couple of detectives and a sergeant down to interview her and ensure that she was able to make it back safely.”
The next step Jones says is for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to finish their review of the criminal investigation to determine if charges will be filed.
“Assure folks that, yeah, this happened but we’re taking appropriate action,” Jones said. “And people can rest assured that even though there’s things we can’t talk about or things that maybe they don’t know has occurred, that we have from day one have been as forceful in investigating this both in the administrative and criminal side as we possibly can.”
For the sheriff the most important thing is that Rosalie is home.
“The victim is fine. The victim is with family. She is being taken care of and is in no danger,” Jones said.
FOX40 spoke to Angel and her attorney. They said they had no comment Tuesday night.