Spiritual cleanser claims another victim

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) report indicates yet another person seeking the help of a ‘spiritual cleanser’ has been ripped off.

OCSO Deputy Marcus Collier stated in his April 16 report that a Hispanic man visited a woman who billed herself as a ‘spiritual cleanser’ and is now out $2,300 in cash.

Apparently this is not the first time someone has lost money to the woman who claims to specialize in spiritual cleansing and healing. In March, a man took his daughter to the Trading Post Flea Market, 3100 U.S. 441 S., and paid the healer $6,450.

“He took his daughter to visit the woman for their final session on March 21 and the woman was gone. He said she was supposed to return $6,000 to him after the final session was complete,” stated a report by OCSO Deputy Justin DeLuca.

Deputy Collier’s report details how another Hispanic man went to the same flea market and met with a woman named Rosa, who apparently told him she could help with his marital problems.

According to the deputy’s report, the man heard about Rosa in an advertisement on a Spanish radio station in Okeechobee.

On March 26 the man met with Rosa in her small shop located in the flea market.

“(He) said when he entered through the bay doors and curtains he opened his wallet which contained $2,300. (He) said he took $300 out of his wallet and Rosa saw the other money in his wallet,” stated Deputy Collier.

The man then laid his wallet on a small table next to him, along with his phone and keys.

Rosa then said some prayers and once she was done, the man gathered up his belongings and left.

He then stopped at a local convenience store for gas, but when he opened his wallet it was empty. The $2,000 he had when he entered the woman’s shop was now gone.

Deputy Collier went on to state that the victim has tried repeatedly to call Rosa but no one answers the phone.

The deputy spoke with the flea market’s manager and was told the space was rented by a man named Henry Torres. But, he has not seen anyone in that space for a while.

Deputy Collier then noted that a space was being rented at the Market Place Flea Market, 3600 U.S. 441 S., for the purpose of spiritual healing.

Management at that market told the deputy there have been no reports of similar incidents there.

However, added Deputy Collier, that spiritual cleanser “… left around the first of April and has not returned.”

According to the deputy’s report the Trading Post manager also gave Deputy Collier a phone number, but when the deputy called that number all he got was a recording. The deputy was also given a Florida driver’s license for the person who rented the space.

“I had dispatch run the number and there was no record found,” noted Deputy Collier.

In Deputy DeLuca’s case, he was given the woman’s business card so he tried to contact her.

“I have made several attempts to call the phone number listed on the business card, but have been unsuccessful,” Deputy DeLuca stated in his report. “The number goes straight to voice mail with no name attached.”

After leaving Okeechobee with at least $8,750 in cash, it appears at least two men got more than their spirits cleaned.

Below is the article from the March 30, 2016 post.

‘Spiritual cleanser’ disappears with cash

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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