New details in kidnapping of elderly man with special needs

Published: Jul. 29, 2017 at 12:26 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:15 AM MST
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Christy Randolph
Christy Randolph

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson News Now is digging deeper into the kidnapping of an elderly man with special needs.

Plans are underway to bring 68-year-old David Read home from Florida where he was found on Thursday, July 27, with the woman suspected of taking him.

Tucson News Now spoke to Read's guardian by phone on Friday, July 28. She said he recently received an inheritance when his mother passed away. The guardian said the suspect brought him to the Tucson Federal Credit Union on Speedway Boulevard to withdraw large amounts of cash that she was allegedly using for herself.

"The fact that all she saw was dollar signs, makes me mad," Alicia Willis said.

"She conned David. It is preying on the disadvantaged," Shannon Morrison said.

Friends of Read are outraged to learn that Christy Randolph, his former roommate, was reportedly taking advantage of him and stealing his money. Read functions at the level of a 10 year old.

"His whole face smiles and lights up when he laughs," Morrison said.

Wednesday night, July 26, police say Read walked away from the Sierra Del Sol Assisted Living Facility on Speedway to head to church, but he never made it.

The Pastor at the Eastside Assembly of God said Read attended every service and when he didn't show up they knew something was wrong.

"We began to hit the streets. We were driving all up and down Broadway – making phone calls, flyers were being made," Pastor Peter Kraft said.

As the days stretched on – their worry mounted.

"Fearing the worst. It hit us hard and everybody joined together," Kraft said.

They joined together to pray for his safe return. Detectives learned that a police report had been previously filed for Read, in regards to financial exploitation. It was an employee at the credit union who noticed red flags with Randolph and the frequent withdraws and notified Tucson police. Because of that incident the court appointed him a guardian.

Detectives learned that Read may have had contact with the suspect from the financial exploitation case, Christy Randolph. On Thursday authorities tracked down Randolph and Read in Florida. She is being charged with domestic violence, kidnapping and theft.

Those who care for Read said they're happy to see the person responsible put behind bars.

"That does bring a little bit of piece of mind to know that justice will play out, for David's behalf and so this doesn't happen to somebody else," Kraft said.

Staff at the assisted living facility told Tucson News Now they have now changed their policy, so every resident must sign out before leaving. That guardian is now in the process of bringing Read back to Arizona.

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