Police: Elderly Woman Held Captive for Months
INDIANAPOLIS - Luigi Amalfitano offered 65-year-old dementia sufferer Anna Turner a place to stay and a tender hand when she was close to losing her home.
Then, Madison County prosecutors said, Amalfitano forced her to live in a locked supply closet, 8 feet by 8 feet, that one police officer said was "barely fit to contain an animal, let alone a human being."
Malnourished and beaten, Turner was discovered Thursday in the 105-degree closet in Amalfitano's Anderson home, where she had been held captive for several months, police said.
She was bruised and cut and had infectious open sores. A bowl of water was on the floor next to a urine-stained mattress, police said. Her dinner: a putrid mix of garbage and food.
Prosecutor Thomas Broderick Jr., who is expected to file formal charges next week, called the situation an "unbelievable inhuman treatment of an individual who could not help themselves."
Amalfitano, 45, his son, Louis, 20, and Louis' girlfriend, Stephanie L. Cole, 21, were charged with felony confinement and exploitation of an endangered adult. Amalfitano and his son also were charged with battery. All were being held on a $100,000 bond Friday night at the Madison County Jail. Turner was admitted to St. John's Medical Center.
Turner's circumstances were discovered, police said, after her daughter and son-in-law saw the three suspects at a grocery store and asked how Turner was doing. Turner's relatives became suspicious when the three said they hadn't seen the woman in several months.
Police said Turner was let out of the room once a month to cash her Social Security check and pick up prescription drugs. Her captives kept both, police said.
"Mrs. Turner was a next-door neighbor having money problems, and they offered to be good neighbors," Anderson police detective Mitch Carroll said. "But their motive appears to be to get her checks and her medication."
The captivity went on for "several months," Carroll said, but he couldn't say exactly how long.
Authorities described Amalfitano and his son as grifters who came to Indiana about six months ago from Florida, where the father had served time in prison for credit card and insurance fraud and grand theft.
He was released in November 2007, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.