A Comprehensive
Investigative Protocol for
Police Investigators When an
Elder Abuse Victim with
Dementia is Financially
Exploited
Detective Matt Smith
Forest Grove Police Department
Background of Project
Karly Sheehan. Her Murder in 2005 led to the passage of Karly’s Law in
Oregon
Background of Project
Mr. Gary Murray, an Eder Abuse victim in one of my Investigations.
Significance of the Project
This Projected developed a
comprehensive investigative protocol
 This protocol addresses the investigative
hurdles identified in the research
 Has been successfully tested in the
criminal justice system
 This project provides a framework for
Elder Abuse investigations

Background of Project
Child Abuse Investigations in Oregon are
governed by the following state laws:
 Karly’s Law
 Jessica’s Law
 Elder Abuse Investigations are governed
by the following state laws:
 None

Literature Review
Officer Dan Nagle’s Neighborhood
Improvement Project
 Physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Levine (Cabrini
Hospital, New York) Dementia is a risk
factor for Elder Abuse
 Dr. Richard Kennedy (Mount Carmel
Family Practice) predicted an increase in
Elder Abuse related investigations

Literature Review
Literature focused on mandatory reporting
laws
 Dementia was not even mentioned in
medical literature that discussed cognitive
impairments and mental illness
 There was not a single piece of research
located discussing investigative
techniques on Elder Abuse cases

Description of the Project Process
The research consisted of data gathered
from the following professionals:
 Adult Protection Service Investigators
 Police Officers
 Deputy District Attorneys

Research Methods
Data Set
 Data was collected in a Suburban County
in Oregon
 Surveys were sent to individuals with
expertise in Elder Abuse Investigations

Research Findings
9
8
7
6
Dementia
Evidence
POA
Laws
5
4
3
2
1
0
APS
Police
DA's Office
Research Findings: Investigative
Protocol

Step I-Collaboration
Research Findings: Investigative
Protocol

Step II-Medical Records
Research Findings: Investigative
Protocol

Step III-Financial Records
Research Findings: Investigative
Protocol
Step IV-Methodology of Investigation
 Evidence of Lack of Capacity
 Suspect’s Actions
 Where is the Money?

Protocol in Action
Investigative Protocol has been used in
the Criminal Justice System
 Investigated by the “Green Valley” Police
Department
 Victim suffered from dementia
 Suspect, “Mr. Robert Davis,” was Power of
Attorney over the victim, was her Son-InLaw, and was also a well respected
attorney

Protocol in Action
Suspect also served as a Municipal Court
Judge in two different municipalities
 Mr. Davis, over the course of three years,
transferred over $20,000 from Betty
Sullivan’s account to either Davis’ personal
account, or his law firm’s account

Protocol in Action
This Protocol was used during the
investigation and Mr. Davis was indicted in
September of 2011 on fourteen counts of
Criminal Mistreatment I
 Mr. Davis was sentenced to 40 months in
prison on June 3RD, 2013

Implications of the Project
The EMPA program has solidified my
commitment to advocacy work for senior
citizens and citizens with disabilities
 I had developed an interest in public policy
development during the EMPA program
 I have infused this interest into my service
on Governor Kitzhaber’s Elder Abuse
Work Group

A Crime Victim With Dementia
Often Suffers In Silence

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Acknowledgments
With much love to my two families
Acknowledgments
Fred and Christine Smith
 Irene Gabel
 Chief Janie Schutz
 Captain Mike Herb
 Captain Kevin Ellingsburg
 Sergeant Michael Hall
 Dr. Matt Jones

Questions?
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A Comprehensive Investigative Protocol for Police Investigators