Caretaker Faces Murder Charges in Elderly Man's Death

By Paul Krueger
|  Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM PDT
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Caretaker Accused of Murdering Elderly Man

Images of Gerald Eugene Rabourn (L) and Denise Michelle Goodwin (R) provided by prosecutors.

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Caretaker Accused of Murdering Elderly Man

A San Diego woman could face the death penalty if found guilty of murdering 89 year-old Gerald Rabourn
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Prosecutors could seek the death penalty against a caretaker accused of killing an 89 year-old San Diego man.

Gerald Eugene Rabourn was last seen alive in October 2010.

The district attorney's office says the victim disappeared and had his assets stolen by the caretaker in what prosecutors describes as an especially shocking and compelling case of elder abuse.

Michelle Goodwin, 44, of Valley Center, faces ten felony crimes including murder for financial gain, which makes the defendant eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors say even though Rabourn's body has never been found, they have enough evidence to charge Goodwin with his murder.

Goodwin was first arrested on fraud charges July 12.  She is also charged with elder abuse, grand theft, embezzlement, forgery and filing forged documents.

An elder care expert says you should always do a background check on anyone you are thinking of hiring to take care of an elderly person, and check up frequently on the elder and the caregiver, and alert the elder's bank and financial institutions.
 

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