EVANSTON (WNE) — A former Evanston resident wanted for allegedly stealing several thousand dollars from a developmentally disabled person has been apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) in Mesa, Arizona.
An arrest warrant was issued in late February for Belinda Waters, 62, on charges of felony exploitation of a vulnerable adult after an investigation by the Evanston Police Department.
The EPD was contacted in February by a staff member of Mountain Regional Services Inc. (MRSI) regarding a developmentally disabled client. Waters had become the client’s legal guardian in late 2008 after she had been caring for the client while employed by MRSI.
At the time Waters assumed guardianship, the client had received nearly $35,000 in a payment from Social Security, which Waters was to oversee for the client’s care.
Approximately $7,000 was spent on legal fees, leaving about $28,000 in the client’s account. At the time the investigation began, however, there was approximately $4,300 remaining in the account and no record of where the majority of the missing money had gone.
Staff at MRSI were aware that at one time Waters had used some of the money to purchase the client new eyeglasses and a recliner. However, those purchases were estimated to have cost between $1,000-2,000 and the client’s current caregivers were unaware of any other purchases or payments on the client’s behalf.
Locating Waters was difficult because she had reportedly moved to Arizona at about the same time she had assumed the client’s guardianship.
Investigators discovered Waters had left employment at an Arizona caregiving facility after an investigation began into money that had allegedly gone missing from a client in Waters’ care.