Angela Ghilarducci said losing her friend and next door neighbor Carole Barnish was hard enough, before everything else happened.
"I miss her. I feel so bad they did this to her," Ghilarducci said through tears.
Carole Barnish died in her home near Rainbow and Alta, and she had no family. Barnish's neighbors took care of her, and brought her meals until she died in Aug. A few months later in Dec., Ghilarducci noticed someone trying to get into Barnish's home.
"They hack-sawed into the gate and I called Metro. I thought the house was being robbed and Metro said 'she owns this property'."
The "she" Metro was referring to was Shalena Earnheart. She showed officers a deed saying she owned the home. Neighbors were suspicious because for more than a decade, they had never seen or heard of Shalena Earnheart.
From Dec. until March, Shalena Earnheart and her friends lived in Barnish's home, and moved out valuables, took $10,000 in cash, and pulled up a U-Haul and removed Barnish's personal belongings. By the end, the home was completely ransacked.
"They also urinated on the floor," Ghilarducci said.
Before her death, Carole Barnish had wanted to leave her home and belongings to Ghilarducci and the other neighbors who cared for her. A lawyer came to take a statement from Barnish and update her will, but Barnish died before anything was ever done. So, as far as police were concerned, Shalena Earnheart was the homeowner and the neighbors had no right to the home.
"We could not come in, because if we came in, we would be arrested because they owned the home with their forged deed. How's that for a law?"
Neighbors said they called police 12 times, and every time police responded they'd tell the neighbors the same thing: "There's nothing we can do." Finally, Ghilarducci and other neighbors asked police to open an investigation and they found the deeds were forged. Shalena Earnheart also tried to gain access to Carole Barnish's bank account and other assets. Shalena Earnheart even went as far as trying to take the matter to court.
Neighbors who loved Barnish said they are trying to figure out how Shalena Earnheart knew Barnish had passed, and had no family in order to take over her home. They suspect she either followed obituary reports or someone who cared for Barnish tipped her off.
Ghilarducci said what happened to Barnish's home could happen to anyone. If someone shows a fake deed, they can get in a home and take all of someone's belongings and by the time an investigation is done, everything will be long gone.
"They show Metro a fake deed, and while you are gone they can steal everything. How do we stop this from happening? If Metro is just taking forged documents."
Shalena Earnheart was finally arrested and charged with forgery. Metro said they didn't have a comment about the case and deferred any statements to the district attorney's office who did not respond for comment. The City of Las Vegas did not respond for comment to explain how they handle forged documents.
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