August 12, 2009

Police seek scamming ‘witch doctor’

Washington state police said they are searching for a witch doctor who cleansed money of evil and allegedly ran off with nearly $140,000 from clients.

Lakewood police said the woman, who uses the name Senora Monica, conned multiple people in the Puget Sound region into giving her large sums of money to cleanse, KIRO-TV, Seattle, reported Wednesday.

Police Lt. Heidi Hoffman said Monica would often return the money to her clients, then ask for a fee for her services.

Hoffman said the suspect and her husband ran a Lakewood store called Centro de Consultas Espirituales that specialized in spiritual guidance and sold items such as incense, candles and talents. She said Monica and her husband fled after stockpiling a large amount of money.

A woman who owns a hair salon next to Monica's store said the woman would tell clients they would die if their money was not cleansed of evil spirits.

Police said they do not yet have any leads on where Monica and her husband may have fled.