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Pearl Harbor survivor found living in filth; caretaker arrested on suspicion of elder abuse

A 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor was found dirty, disoriented and living in filth at his home outside El Cajon, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

The man's caretaker, Milagros Angeles, 63, was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse. Sheriff's deputies also discovered that thousands of dollars had been taken from the veteran, the Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

When deputies went to the tiny home on Euclid Avenue on Tuesday, they found the resident clutching what apparently was his prized possession: a picture of the ship, the Vestal, that he was serving on the day of the Japanese attack.

The Vestal, a repair ship, was moored next to the battleship Arizona. After being repaired at Mare Island in Vallejo, Calif., it returned to the fleet and engaged in several major battles.

Suffering from dementia and dehydration, the victim was taken to the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Diego. His name was not released, in accordance with rules involving elder abuse cases.

His status as a Pearl Harbor survivor was confirmed by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn., according to the group's past president Arthur Herriford. "It's a damn shame that this happened," he said.

Sgt. Mark Varnau of the Sheriff's Department elder abuse unit said the the suspect initially did not want to allow deputies into the home. The veteran was found sitting in a chair, holding the picture, he said.

The man has relatives in Southern California, but they were unaware of his condition, Varnau said.

"We tell people they should check on their kids," Varnau said. "They should check on their parents too."

The suspect was booked into county jail. She is being held on $100,000 bail.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The kitchen at the home where a Pearl Harbor survivor was found living in filth. Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

Comments () | Archives (18)

How obscene. And terribly sad.

The poor man. That's no way to treat anybody, let alone someone like him.

Good lord let me pull the trigger.

She needs to be deported back to the Philippines NOW!

that is horrible. Poor man's family need to spend more time with him. I live in a condo complex where there are a lot of retired folks. I see how lonely they are sometimes and just want to talk with somebody. I hope this man will get the help he needs now.

how barbaric the act of this woman who calls herself human. she lacks any of the attributes that make humanity sane. what kind of insanity is this and how was she able to bill the state for service unrendered. shame.

shame on his children for not checking. i don't care whether they love or hate their dad. they should check on him. per the photo, that mess has been there a long, long time. the caretaker is clearly a hoarder, in addition to being a thief. would like to know who hired the caretaker and paid him.

I'm not that religious, but I do believe in karma. One can only hope she gets that same treatment in her twilight years.

Where was the Pearl Harbor survivor's family??? I don't believe its asking too much to visit one's own FAMILIA!!! As Ms. Milagros Angeles, how could you do such acts on another human being??? Your name meaning "Miraculous Angels" doesn't fit you. Try Satanic Hell!!!

she needs to burn in hell! she needs to be dealt with to the full extend of our laws! hes a patriot!

I cannot even imagine all the abuse that is going on out there and people have no idea.. or those that have no family to check on them. This woman is disgusting and obviously has no conscience. How can people live with themselves?

Seniors deserve to be treated with utmost respect and compassion. It is a shame that this guy's family, friends and neighbors didn't intervene long ago in his behalf.

I think this is horrific. For anyone to treat a veteran, let alone a survivor of Pearl Harbor like this is unfathomable. It is a shame that someone that has laid their life on the line for this country should be treated like that. And shame on his family. They should have been checking on him frequently. If he was my father, he'd be living with me. It would be an honor to take care of him. He is a true hero!! Why has this country pushed it's veterans aside? Why isn't enough being done to make sure they are taken care of, and their needs met? I am a proud veteran, and I see first hand how our country's true heroes are just discarded once their service is done. Have pride in your country and the people that sacrifice for you! When was the last time you said "Thank you" to a veteran? God bless America!!

Jail for the caretaker of the 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor? A well-placed god swift kick up the rear would be just as appropriate for not taking care of this brave U.S. Navy veteran and pocketing his hard-earned money. People like him gave up their youth and their lives to fight Nazi Germany, for a time Mussolini's Fascists and the Japanese militarists. We live in a free nation, generations later, because of people like him. The U.S. Armed Forces are doing the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, South Korea and other parts of the globe. That fighting spirit gave Tojo's forces their first taste of American resolve to protect our freedom. His caretaker deserves whatever fate the law hands her. The Dec. 7,1941 Pearl Harbor raid survivor, and many others who served their country, deserve better.

the family was unaware? that means he was being ignored by them. or else they would have now the living conditions he was in. they are just as pathetic as the care giver.

My God can't we do better as a nation for the men of the greatest generation. This is horrible and the penalty should fit the crime.

This article was reprinted in today's Honolulu Star Advertiser, where I read it while eating breakfast. I live in Pearl Harbor, on Ford Island, in battleship row. My backyard overlooks the USS Arizona. Each and every day, I remember the brave men who gave their lives for our country on December 7, 1941. It breaks my heart to know that a Pearl Harbor survivor has been abused so unspeakably. Where was his family? Where was his community? How could his country let him down? While he protected us, we did not prtect him. We owe this hero a debt of gratitude. Mr. Perry, please follow this story and let us know what happens to this Navy sailor.

People who make other people live like this need to be made to live like this themselves. Put him up somewhere nice (with his familia?) and lock the door to that house with her in it. (She is also getting up in years, so when does the punishment become elder abuse?)

The blame to the family must be mitigated by the proximity. If they honestly believed their father was in good hands, and lived far away, they could have honestly not known of his condition. You can't tell if you can't see. I know, because something similar happened to me recently, and there was no way I'd have known, unless one of her friends called to tell me.

He IS a hero, and this makes us all sick, but most of us do not involve ourselves in veteran affairs, unless we have a veteran family member. These brave men & women saved us all. We need to return the favor in kind instead of throwing them under the bus.


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