Local News

Caregiver arrested after trying to marry dementia patient

Posted December 20, 2012

— Pinehurst police on Thursday arrested the caregiver of a dementia patient after they say the pair drove to Scotland County to get married.

Authorities said Carol Ann O'Cause, 68, picked up Henry Eugene Aiken, 83, from Pinehurst Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on Monday for a doctor's visit but never showed up for the appointment.

Chief Deputy Floyd Thomas said that O'Cause and Aiken were detained Thursday morning after trying to get a marriage license.

They first came to the Clerk of Court's office in Laurinburg on Wednesday, but didn't have the proper identification and other paperwork, Scotland County authorities said. When they returned the courthouse Thursday, local attorney Bill Floyd said he saw them and realized Aiken was the subject of a Silver Alert that he had read about Wednesday on WRAL.com.

"There was a pretty noticeable age discrepancy with the gentleman and the lady he was with," Floyd said. "They were applying for a marriage license. I do a lot of elder law work, and it didn't seem like it was a normal situation that was going on."

Floyd said he then notified the magistrate who ran a background check on O'Cause and found that she was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant for felonious restraint.

Henry Eugene Aiken Caregiver arrested after trying to marry dementia patient

Scotland County authorities detained the two and returned them to Pinehurst police, who charged O'Cause with one count of false imprisonment.

Aiken is now in the custody of the Moore County Department of Social Services, Thomas said. His son, Vaughn Aiken, said he couldn't be more relieved.

"It's been very, very tough – sleepless nights, a lot of worrying," said Vaughn Aiken, who lives in Virginia.

He said his father and O'Cause are in a long-term relationship, but that Henry Aiken had expressed concerns in recent years about how she handled their finances.

"He did come to me in '06. He brought up some of these problems to me, possibly forgery, possibly writing checks," Vaughn Aiken said.

Vaughn Aiken said he was eager to visit North Carolina.

"Hopefully I will be down there soon to go ahead and get him and see him and hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bwu910 Dec 21, 2012

    Wow! Out of context and full of ..... They have been living together from New York to North Carolina since 1995, so where in the hell kidnapping come from?? Why shouldn't they be entitled to get officially married, their already common law. Have they considered the fact that he wanted to secure her?

  • djofraleigh Dec 21, 2012

    what did she want? His social security survivor's benefits? That should be tied to the number of years married even with the last wife.

    Caregiver laws should exist in NC that prevent them from marrying or being in the wills of those they care for. Are they?

  • fatkatts2 Dec 21, 2012

    people never cease to amaze me. Unreal.

  • mm23 Dec 21, 2012

    Vaughn Aiken said he was eager to visit North Carolina.
    "Hopefully I will be down there soon to go ahead and get him and see him and hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him," he said.

    Oh yeah, that shows real concern for your father. You are only in Virginia, not across the country! He is in the custody of Social Services and in his state of dememtia may be very upset due to the change of his routine/home. Concerned son, get yourself to North Carolina NOW and straighten this out!!

  • driverkid3 Dec 21, 2012

    I could not do that to another human. That is just downright evil. I worry about my elderly Aunt and Uncle, but they have 2 very loving, sharp eyed kids that keep an eye on them, and I am so glad of that.

  • Scubagirl Dec 21, 2012

    "Maybe this story has been updated since some people posted, but the son says they have been in a long term relationship. He mentions the father talking about it as long ago as 2006. So maybe she isn't just some stranger trying to prey on an elderly person.

    If true, then they should have married while he was still in possession of ALL his mental abilities. Looks very suspect now, especially since she SAID they were going to a doctors appointment and then never showed.

  • tran Dec 21, 2012

    This kind of thing is common. A "caregiver" ripped my dad off for nearly 10 grand before we were able to stop her. She didn't marry him but she had him signing checks and she was living large.

  • Scubagirl Dec 21, 2012

    "They are both kind of old to get married.

    ummmmmmmmmm, NO they are NOT kind of old to get married! Old people get married too ya know. Why do you think there's an age limit?

    HOWEVER, she was not trying to marry him for love I'd bet it was to take whatever items of his she could.

  • wildpig777 Dec 21, 2012


    she must be a lawyer? or a nc politician?

  • Gr8Fun Dec 21, 2012

    My husbands uncle remarried a relatively younger lady right after he was diagnosed with cancer. She had three kids from different fathers....we went to visit him right as things were appearing not so great. When we got there we had no idea had bad off he actually was. Didn't even look like him. She had someone coming over to change his will right after our visit - kind of rushing us out. They had the will changed less than 24 hours before his death to show that all of his life insurance policy and everything be given to her rather than his biological daughter. I inquired about potentially buying his motorcycle so someone in the family could have it (this was a day or two after his death) - she already had someone she knew on the way to look at it to buy it. She didn't have any sentimental connection with his belongings. So sad and unbelievable that these people actually exist.