Pomona police on Thursday arrested a Minnesota man who is accused of wheeling his 90-year-old dying mother into a bank to withdraw money and then fleeing the state hours after her lifeless body was found among deplorable conditions inside their home.
David John Vanzo, 57, was taken into custody after the Plymouth Police Department in Minnesota notified Pomona police that he was possibly living in the Southern California city, Pomona Police Lt. Christian Hsu said.
Vanzo was wanted in connection with a warrant related to the abuse and neglect of his mother. He is being held on $500,000 bail and arrangements were underway to extradite him to Minnesota, the lieutenant said.
He has been charged with financial exploitation, neglect and theft by swindle.
According to a warrant filed in Hennepin County District Court, Vanzo spent his mother’s money on adult dating websites, “sugar daddy” sites, sports gambling and women instead of paying for her medical expenses.
Authorities in Minnesota said Vanzo, who was unemployed, had a history of stealing from his mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Plymouth police said he took her to a Wells Fargo bank to withdraw $850 in cash six hours before reporting her death on Jan. 5, 2015.
His dying mother was in a wheelchair and her feet were dragging as she sat slumped over and unresponsive, according to the warrant.
After taking a taxi home, Vanzo dropped his mother off, got back into the taxi and went to a Buffalo Wild Wings. He later called police to report her death.
Police described nightmarish conditions inside the home.
They said his dead mother was found lying on heavily soiled sheets. Her room was covered in debris and dirt. Conditions inside the home were deplorable, they said.
“There was trash throughout the living room and kitchen, holes in the walls, the carpet was almost black, and the house smelled overwhelmingly of urine and feces,” according to the warrant. “Officers reported the kitchen was uninhabitable, completely soiled, covered in dust and layers of an undetermined substance."
Bloody rags and tissues “covered in an unknown substance” were found strewn throughout the lower level of the home. A toilet was covered in mold, and the bathroom conditions were “incomprehensibly unsanitary,” police said in the warrant.
Thick layers of grime and an “unknown substance” covered a television, computer and chair set up in the living room.
“The computer keyboard was completely covered in thick layers of undetermined substances, and the computer was playing pornographic material,” police said.
According to the warrant, the medical examiner found bedsores on Vanzo's mother’s body. The pain would have been “excruciating and unbearable,” according to the warrant. The examiner believed she had been dead about four to six hours.
The cause of death was found to be dehydration and cachexia, a weakening condition caused from chronic illness.
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