Crime Trackers

Jan 21, 2014 9:25 PM by Lupita Murillo

Assisted care facility co-owner accused of stealing from elderly patient

SAHUARITA - The co-owner of an assisted care facility is arrested and charged with elder abuse. However it wasn't physical, Sahuarita Police say it's financial.

55-year-old Timothy McKenna was booked into the Pima County jail last week. He owns Saguaro Acres. Authorities fear, there may be more victims.

This began to unfold last February when a relative reported suspicious activity in the patient's financial statements. The patient, a 93 year old woman, has since passed away.

Shirley Sproul, lives in Arkansas, she talked with News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo over the phone. She says her aunt was kind, giving, and a wonderful person. She lived at Saguaro Acres for three years.

She says about $2,500 is missing from her aunt's bank account. Someone, using her aunt's identity opened an account at the Sun Bank. Some of the charges she found on that account were from Wal Mart, Circle K in Tucson, Office Max in Tucson, Food City in Tucson. Also Fletcher's Tires, and Texaco.

She says her aunt didn't drive, didn't even carry a credit card. But the most shocking charge says Sproul, "They went to Honolulu, Hawaii and there's two places where they purchased nuts in Hawaii."

Sproul was in charge of paying the bills, when she spotted the suspicious activity, she contacted the Sahuarita Police Department.

Detective John Cotsonas has been working on the case for nearly a year along with the Attorney General's office. Also participating in the investigation, Adult Protective Services and Arizona Department of Health Services, and other outside state agencies. Prosecution will be handled by the Attorney General's office.

Det. Cotsonas says, "It is upsetting to think that someone trusts their elderly family parents, aunts, grandparents, to somebody's care and they get taken advantage of ."

News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo went to Saguaro Acres to get their side of the story. A woman asked her to leave but when Murillo asked her about Mckenna's arrest, she replied, " You're innocent until proven guilty. He's innocent, we've been in business 19 years, I have a great reputation you can print the good stuff. "

There's one question Shirley Sproul has for the owners, " How could you do that to an elderly person? "

The detective says this case is far from over, he expects to make other arrests.

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