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Woman accused of locking elderly neighbor in room, bought home for $1

Maiell Bastida web.jpg
Palm Springs Public Safety officers arrested 44-year-old Maibell Bastida on charges of aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, kidnapping, and harassing in a felony preceding. (PBSO)

A woman is accused of locking her elderly wheelchair-bound neighbor in a room and buying his house in Palm Springs for $1.

Palm Springs Public Safety officers arrested 44-year-old Maibell Bastida on charges of aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, kidnapping, and harassing in a felony preceding.

The investigation began in August when officers received a report from two other neighbors who alleged possible elderly abuse by Bastida. They told investigators the victim had a brain stroke and heart attack in July. When the victim returned home in August, the neighbors said Bastida offered the victim her assistance, which he accepted because he didn't have any family around, according to the report.

According to investigators, Bastida filed Power of Attorney paperwork, which she had the victim sign. The victim told authorities Bastida took away all of his credentials, a bank card, house keys and cellphone. He also said Bastida locked him in a bedroom and pushed him down on the bed. He said he wasn't hurt but the incident left him afraid of her. He said she also told him to stay in bed. He said most of the time he never ate breakfast, and sometimes only ate lunch or dinner, depending on when Bastida brought him something to eat.

Investigators also determined Bastida moved into the victim's main bedroom and moved him into a smaller bedroom. Investigators found a dead bolt lock on the outside of victim's bedroom door. According to the arrest report, Bastida also brought over furniture and plants from her home, even though she told police she lived next door full-time with her husband and son.

Investigators later learned Bastida bought the man's home for $1 with a "Quit Claim Deed" on July 14, 2021. Court records showed the mortgage on the property of more than $92,000. The "Quit Claim Deed" and the Power of Attorney documents were both signed by the victim while he was being treated in the hospital, investigators said.

Even though the victim couldn't drive, investigators said bank statements showed transactions at a number of businesses including a nail salon, McDonald's, Home Depot, Walmart, and the Dollar Store.

Bastida also told investigators she removed the carpets from the bedroom because they had bed bugs and she wanted to remodel the home.

In August, the victim said an attorney hired by his other neighbors filed paperwork to revoke Bastida's Power of Attorney. She was also advised to not have any contact with the victim. She removed her belongings from his home.

On Oct. 12, authorities said Bastida continued to harass, intimidate, and threaten the victim. The victim said Bastida confronted him along the fence line to say he was not getting his house back unless he forced a guest to move out.

Interactive: Track crime by zip code in West Palm Beach

Bastida remains at the Palm Beach County Jail on a $277,000 bond.


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