Man Accused Of Possibly Dragging Mother's Corpse To Bank Arrested
A man who is accused of possibly bring his own mother's corpse into a Minnesota bank last year has been arrested in Pomona. David John Vanzo, 57, was arrested yesterday at about 8:30 a.m. at his home in the 1400 block of Cleveland Street in Pomona, KTLA reports.
Police in Plymouth, Minnesota told Pomona police that a wanted person was possibly residing in Pomona, leading to Vanzo's arrest. Back in Plymouth, Vanzo is wanted on suspicion of financially exploiting a vulnerable adult, swindle and criminal neglect, according to WCCO.
Vanzo began living with his mother, Caryl Vanzo, in 2007 and had power of attorney over her accounts. From 2012 to her death in January of 2015, he is accused of drawing $260,000 from her bank accounts and via a reverse mortgage of her house. On the day his mother died, authorities say that Vanzo took her to a Wells Fargo bank via a taxi and wheeled her into the branch to withdraw $850. Bank employees said the woman was unresponsive, her feet dragging on the ground. They said they weren't sure if she was breathing or not.
The taxi driver said that after the bank, he dropped Vanzo's mother off at the house and Vanzo asked to be taken to a Buffalo Wild Wings. Six hours later, Vanzo reported his mother's death to authorities.
When authorities responded, they found the 90-year-old woman's body lying in a bed, soaked in urine and suffering from bed sores that a medical examiner said would have been "excrutiating and unbearable." She was clad in a robe, fur coat and boots covered in feces, according to KMSP. She had been malnourished and dehydrated leading up to her death, and the medical examiner said it appeared she had been dead for 4 to 6 hours.
Vanzo was also in the home, which authorities said was strewn with trash and reeked of excrement. They believe he may have been watching porn at the time, as they found an adult video playing on a computer and noted that the computer's keyboard was "completely covered in thick layers of undetermined substances."
Police believe that in addition to the alleged neglect, Vanzo withdrew $260,000 from his mother's accounts and via a reverse mortgage on her home. He allegedly use this money to gamble, on porn or on adult webcam shows from women over Skype.
Vanzo claims he never abused his mother, and that the $850 he withdrew from the bank came from a joint account and he intended to spend the money to care for her, KTVI reported.
He also told KMSP that he had an agreement with his mother. "I took care of my mom for years. I'm the good guy here, not the bad guy," he said.
He claims that towards the end of her life, his mother refused to eat.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told WCCO that this case is one of the first where they've been able to charge someone with a more severe charge of criminal neglect, as the offense became a felony three years ago.
"The horrible way he treated his mother is exactly why we wanted the upgraded charge and tougher penalty," he said.
Vanzo is expected to soon be extradited from California to Minnesota to face these disturbing charges.