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Authorities Search For Woman Accused Of Swindling Ailing 79-Year-Old

By Jeff Todd

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) - Lafayette Police are looking for a woman accused of exploiting a family and taking money from a 79-year-old with ailing health.

In June, the Adult Protective Services referred a case to Lafayette police for complaints against Julie Steenhoek, 53, known to the victim as "Doctor Julie."

The investigation showed Steenhoek began a friendship with the victim and moved into her house in the spring. Eventually Steenhoek moved her husband and child into the house as the victim's health took a turn for the worse.

Family members of the victim started contacting police when they said "Doctor Julie" was being controlling and not allowing the victim to interact with family or neighbors. Documents show the victim had given Steenhoek power of attorney. An attorney for the victim's daughter told CBS 4 those documents were likely forged. Steenhoek had also been written into the victim's will. The victim began to have declining health but believed "Doctor Julie's" homeopathic therapies would cure her.

Steenhoek is not a doctor and has no formal medical training. She did begin teaching LENS therapy, but the creator of that type of therapy says Steenhoek is "scum" according to an arrest warrant.

In late June an emergency hearing was held, freezing the bank accounts of the victim and stopping the sale of her house. Many of the victim's family members believe Steenhoek was trying to sell the house and pocket the money.

Police threw Steenhoek and her family out of the victim's house.

On July 8 the victim died in Hospice. Her family has requested a toxicology report.

It took until August 1 for detectives to issue an arrest warrant for Steenhoek, who may have fled to Louisiana.

Steenhoek had her real estate license revoked in 2005 for attempting to commit fraud. Then she was using the name Julie Holland. A simple internet search shows Steenhoek has deceived others.

An attorney for the victim's family believes there could be more victims. They also believe Steenhoek is still in the Denver area.

Lafayette police are hoping someone may know where Steenhoek is and will contact them.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.


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