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Elderly L.A. Woman Vanishes, Is Found Alone in Maine 4 Years Later

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James Caccavo displays a photograph of himself and Sarah Cheiker, taken at an assisted living facility in Maine in 2012. Caccavo says Cheiker told him she never sold her old L.A. home, which was bulldozed after she was allegedly taken by a trio of people who sold the home and spent her money. (Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

Sarah Cheiker had lived in the small bungalow in the Fairfax district for decades, first with her mom and then by herself.

But one day in 2008 she vanished, and a bulldozer showed up to demolish her longtime home.

“I was shocked. We figured she was dead,” said Jim Caccavo, who had been Cheiker’s next-door neighbor for 35 years. When he couldn’t find out what had become of the 89-year-old woman, he filed a missing person’s report.

Four years later, two FBI agents rolled into the neighborhood and starting knocking on doors, asking questions and telling residents that Cheiker had been found alive — abandoned and alone in a weathered cabin near the coast of Maine.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

For decades, Sarah Cheiker lived on Edinburgh Avenue in Los Angeles' Fairfax district. After she disappeared in 2008, her bungalow was sold, razed and replaced by a larger house. A neighbor says Cheiker, now in her 90s, who reappeared in Maine, contends she never sold the house. ( Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

For decades, Sarah Cheiker lived on Edinburgh Avenue in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district. After she disappeared in 2008, her bungalow was sold, razed and replaced by a larger house. A neighbor says Cheiker, now in her 90s, who reappeared in Maine, contends she never sold the house. ( Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)