A complaint from a concerned citizen about a missing elderly woman who was placed on a plane and sent to the Philippines has prompted a criminal and internal investigation into two Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies, the department announced Wednesday.
The two officers have been put on administrative leave, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said in a news release. Neither was named and the department revealed no details about how or by whom the woman was put on the flight. The deputies were identified simply as a woman with 14 years in the department and a man with six years in the department.
Investigators served several search warrants in connection to the incident and found "many unusual activities by both deputies, both on and off duty," the press release said.
Sgt. Shaun Hampton said the woman made contact with department deputies during a call for service in late January. Shortly after, a citizen filed a complaint with the department saying they believed an elderly woman may have been taken advantage of by two sheriff's deputies.
The citizen said they were concerned for the woman's welfare because she hadn't been seen in a few days and possibly had "diminished mental capacity."
“We immediately began looking into it," Hampton said. “The timeline moved very quickly.”
The department began its investigation, calling on other agencies to help, including the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal’s service.
After several days of not knowing where the woman was, sheriff's investigators discovered she was put on the plane bound to the Philippines, where she had extended family.
Police were able to locate her and flew to the country to interview her. She was eventually escorted back to her home, the department said.
Allegations of improper conduct for one of the two deputies has also surfaced from a different county, the department said. Both cases are being reviewed by the respective district attorneys offices in each county.