Miami News

Miami journalist arrested for abducting and exploiting her elderly mother

Detectives have been trying to apprehend the Miami journalist since June

A Miami journalist was arrested after she reportedly abducted her 88-year-old mother and scammed her out of nearly $224,000. Catherine Areu Jones, 51, is charged with many offenses, including kidnapping, senior exploitation, and planned fraud, according to a news statement from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. In June, a court issued a warrant for Jones' arrest, and since then, officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department have been working to arrest her.

Miami journalist Catherine Areu Jones, and what she did

Catherine Areu Jones, 51, was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, identity fraud, and exploitation of the elderly as part of an organized defrauding scheme. Reportedly known in the media as "Cathy Areu", Areu Jones has worked for The Washington Post and was an occasional guest on Fox News.

Areu Jones was charged with criminal exploitation of a vulnerable adult for monetary gain. She allegedly placed her mother in assisted living and memory care facilities against her will. Officials say Areu Jones committed this elder abuse twice. The first time was by locking the victim inside an assisted living facility while she pretended to go on an ice cream outing with her grandchildren.

The second occurance was when Areu Jones forcibly removed her mother from their Miami-Dade County home and placed her in a different facility. The Department of Children and Families intervened and conducted investigations, resulting in the victim's release from both institutions.

Closeup of an elderly woman’s hands.

About the damages caused

The suspect stole a total of $224,000 from the victim, who lost it when she took out a reverse mortgage on her family home, used credit cards and cashed checks written in her mother's name.

Areu Jones has had an arrest warrant out since June, but she has allegedly been hiding in several locations, including Mexico. She was arrested without bail and sent to the Miami-Dade County Jail on Friday morning. The investigation on the Miami journalist is still underway.

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