A woman who was serving a jail sentence after being convicted of multiple charges involving elderly victims has been on the lam for more than a year after she failed to return from a day pass.
Elizabeth Ann Monk is currently listed on the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office most-wanted page.
A recent probation sweep failed to turn up any sign of the Grass Valley fugitive, said the daughter of one of her victims, who is hoping that publicizing her flight from justice will bring some information as to her whereabouts.
Monk had taken a plea agreement in October 2011 after being charged in three separate cases involving writing bad checks.
In the first case, Monk was charged with one count of passing a check with insufficient funds after writing a check for nearly $2,000 to a local woman and one count of forgery in connection with a check to Washington Mutual Bank.
On the second case, she was charged with forgery, elder theft and writing a check with insufficient funds.
The third case, filed less than a month later, charged her with one count of writing a check with insufficient funds.
“Her pattern was to gain (her victims’) trust, write checks and abscond with the money,” said Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Oliver Pong.
“She gave us an amazing story,” said Brenda Marden, whose mother, Eunice Fischer, fell prey to Monk in one of the charged cases.
“She moved into my mom’s house, and she was already facing charges. She told us story after story after story.”
Monk rented a room for $500 a month, plus a security deposit, and wrote her a check on a non-existent account, Fischer said,
“I loved her. I thought she was adorable,” Fischer said. “She took me like Grant took Richmond.”
Fischer, who was 79 at the time, called Monk a “perennial con artist” with a long record.
She didn’t check Monk’s references because she liked her so much, she said.
“She was absolutely perfect,” Fischer said. “She gave me a check right away and asked if she could move her things in.”
When the check bounced, Monk promised she would make good, Fischer said.
“I even would make her breakfast,” she said, laughing. “That’s what hurt, not so much the fact that she lived in my house for eight or nine days without paying, but that I went out of my way. I was kind to her.”
According to Fischer, after Monk was confronted, she immediately moved into a neighbor’s house and scammed her as well, before she was arrested.
Monk eventually agreed to plead no contest to one count of writing checks with insufficient funds in each of the three cases.
She was given a suspended sentence and three years probation and was to serve 249 days in county jail.
On Nov. 10, 2011, Monk requested a day pass from jail, which was granted.
Monk never returned, and a warrant was issued, and her probation was revoked Dec. 15, 2011. A new case later was filed against Monk, charging her with escape from custody.
“She conned the judge,” Marden said. “She boo-hooed that her son was sick, and they let her out of jail.”
Marden said her mother’s sense of betrayal was fresh all over again after several Sheriff’s deputies showed up at her door a few weeks ago, looking for Monk.
“When I heard the judge let her out, I could not believe it,” Fischer said.
“It amazes me they would let her walk like that.”
It is rare for jail inmates to take off after being given a day pass, since they know the potential consequences, Pong said.
In Monk’s case, she faces a year and a day for the escape charge, said Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson. She also faces the possible imposition of her suspended sentence, which adds up to a maximum of four years and four months.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
“I loved her. I thought she was adorable. She took me like Grant took Richmond.”
— Eunice Fischer, on fugitive Elizabeth Ann Monk