Woman accused of abusing 90-year-old WWII vet

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LA JOLLA, Calif. – Police are investigating allegations that a 90-year-old La Jolla man is being severely abused by his live-in girlfriend, authorities said.

Robert StellaFamily members of Robert Stella told Fox5 that the woman who lived with him and was supposedly caring for him,  stole money and abused him for years.

“My father met her, and he said “Well, she’s homeless,” Stella’s daughter, Michelled Redfield said. “He’s a very big hearted man. She started very quickly getting this relationship going.

Redfield said her father has been living in horrible conditions without enough food and water for years. The woman was very controlling and would tie him to a bed when she left the house, Redfield said.

“After she got in the house, the doors became locked to us,” said Stella’s son-in-law, Will Redfield.  “We’d call the police for (welfare) checks. They would go in They would check on him. The house was deteriorating year by year. But when police would ask Robert if he wants to stay, under extreme intimidation – he’d say yes.”


robert stella elder abuse

“It’s so traumatizing,” said Redfield.  “Who knew this exists?  Not in my worst nightmare did I think this could happen.”

Stella’s family said a person who had been living in the home recently reported the abuse to them.  The man, who did not want to be identified, told Fox5 he witnessed the caretaker mistreat Stella.

Animal feces, caged animals, dirty walls and soiled furniture packed the house.  Animal Control officers confiscated several dogs and cats when they entered the home over the weekend. They were at the house again Thursday night removing the carcass of a dead cat.

“There’s rat feces all over the stuff,” said Redfield.

“The smell is overpowering,” said Redfield.

So far, no charges have been filed, but San Diego Police Department and Animal Control officers have opened a criminal investigations.

Fox 5 News is not identifying the woman who lived with Stella because she has not been charged with a crime. We spoke with her on the ph0ne. She would not comment, but she said  that her attorney would call us on Friday. So far, that has not happened.

Meanwhile, Stella’s family moved him to a nearby care facility where he is being treated for severe bed sores.


  • esco

    Geez what a mess. Thank goodness someone said something to help Mr. Stella and begin the quality of life improvements he deserves. I hope to see some kind of charge result from this, it's worthy of one.

    • dailydebacle

      Agree. Too bad the guy didn't keep any WW II memorabilia. If he had the right weapon and was able to use it, maybe the dead carcass being removed would have been the caretaker's and not the cat's.

  • dailydebacle

    In one sentence she's referred to as a "girlfriend". In another sentence she's referred to as a "caretaker". Sound's like she's not good at either. Effing inhuman pig is what she really is!

  • Marsha

    If that was my father, there is no way I would not have entered the house to check on him. This situation appears to have been going on for a long time. Very sad and there must be more to the story.

  • Rita

    I have know Robert and Victoria ( bad caregiver) for many years. Robert hid his abuse well.
    Please tell Robert that I am so sorry I did not recognize the signs of elder abuse.

  • anomad

    I have a problem believing this. Many of the statements made are untrue. I know this as a fact. I met the woman in question through a mutual friend in 2005. she introduced me to Robert as a friend and business partner. I was friends with both for several years (2007) until my work took me to another city and then out of state. She was never homeless as she had joint custody of her daughter. I knew her also. I was a visitor in Roberts house several times. I also helped the lady in question throw a very nice birthday party for Robert. His children, who were invited, did not attend. I keep in touch with a mutual friend and according to him, she was involved in a very serious relationship with a man in La Mesa until he passed away from cancer 3 years ago. She was involved with several charities and helped many people.

    • anomadreply

      You don't know your facts. Victoria is a pathological liar and yes, she can be very convincing. While she was caring for that man in La Mesa, I understand that he was shot and killed. It was ruled a suicide, but the facts say otherwise and Victoria was the only one with access.

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