Military Veteran Victimized by Female Con Artist on Dating Website Still Seeking Justice
Former Meridian Idaho resident Dr. William Duncan is a retired US Navy Line Officer. After his military service, he attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Duncan is also a graduate of Yale University. In 2003, he met a woman on match.com named Patricia Ross who resided in Ventura County, California. The couple talked by phone and email frequently, and after a short period of time, decided to move in together. Dr. Duncan visited Patricia in California, and at that time Patricia began to seek a home to purchase back in Idaho. Soon afterward, they had decided to marry. A date was not set due to some of Patricia’s health issues. Patricia then purchased a home located at 1844 S. Retriever Way in Meridian, Idaho. The couple moved in together and Dr. Duncan moved all of his possessions into the new home. On December 24, 2003, a prenuptial agreement was drawn up that stated that all assets owned by the parties at that time shall remain their own respective separate properties and shall not form any part of their community property. Soon afterward, Patricia received a call from her son, Barend Garnet Bendorf. Barend had informed Patricia that if she did not relocate back to California, she would no longer be allowed to have any visitation with her grandchildren. Dr. Duncan and Patricia then decided to sell the house (which was in Patricia’s name) and purchase a condominium back in Ventura County California. The day that the couple started to pack up and move out of the Meridian home, Barend Bendorf arrived with his wife and 2 other friends and began to load the contents of the home into a moving truck. After the contents of the home were loaded onto the truck, Patricia Ross, Barend Bendorf, his wife and the friends drove away with the understanding that Dr. Duncan would meet them in Ventura County, where the couple would be married and his belongings would to be waiting. This was on July 15, 2004. Dr. Duncan was to close up the house, attend a final meeting with the realtor, and conclude any local business that needed personal attention. About 3 hours after leaving Idaho, Dr. Duncan received a call from Bendorf and his wife, telling him not to follow them to California. There would be no wedding. They stated that his property was not going to be returned and then they simply hung up. Dr. Duncan was left homeless with few clothes and little money. He made several attempts to contact Ross and Bendorf to retrieve his property in both written and oral form. These attempts only resulted in verbal abuse and threats of slander. At some point during Dr. Duncans’ return demands, they had indicated the property had been put in a storage facility. They continued to use extortion like tactics on him for the combination to the gun safe, which contained several valuable firearms. Dr. Duncan then contacted the FBI because the Bendorfs had crossed state lines with property that did not belong to them. He was told that it was not a case that they would pursue.
Dr Duncan used what little money he had left to hire an attorney in the hopes that he would have some legal help in retrieving his stolen belongings. A civil case was filed in Ada County in 2006. Dr. Duncan’s belongings included much more than just kitchen items and furniture. In addition to the firearms, there were several other items that held high sentimental value as well as high monetary value. Among the items taken were his personal photos, his military uniforms, antique furniture (some from Scotland circa 1820), his Yale class ring from 1943, and a solid gold Hamilton pocket watch. This particular item was a sacred family heirloom that was given to him by his father. His father received the watch upon his own retirement from the US Navy. Dr. Duncan wishes to have this item back because he wishes to pass it on to his grandchildren. The total monetary values of his possessions are approximated to be nearly $200,000. However, the civil suit only valued the items at $50,000. On November 6 of 2007, a woman named Nancy Perry served Patricia Ross with the necessary paperwork to notify her of the civil suit. The court records included a sworn affidavit of service. However, Barend and Patricia’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the civil suit due to failure to serve in a timely manner, stating that they were never properly served the paperwork. A woman at Barend and Patricia’s residence in Ojai California claims she answered the door to a woman who refused to identify herself asking for Barend Bendorf. She shut the door in the woman’s face. She later claims she found the papers that were allegedly served scattered in the front garden and gave them to Barend. Barend states that he also found papers in his neighbors’ driveway that had been scattered by the wind.
The stress of this situation has caused Dr. Duncan to have several issues with his health which have caused him to become very ill. He was told he had some serious heart issues and had to be seen by cardiologist immediately. The pursuit of the civil case became very difficult because the case was filed in Idaho. Bendorf and Ross were located in Ojai, California, and Dr. Duncan’s health issues forced him to move to Bellingham, Washington. The delay caused by the motion to dismiss based on the failure to serve in timely manner, the lack of available funds on the part of Dr. Duncan, and his continued health issues caused the case to be dismissed in 2008.
Dr. Duncan’s friend Michael Borozan (now the executor of his estate), came to Meridian with Dr. Duncan on December 2 of 2011 to file a police report about the theft of his possessions. The police report indicates that Ada County prosecuting attorney Whitney Faulkner has stated that there is simply no way around the fact that because the theft is more than five years old it has reached the statute of limitations. However, investigator Mike Riebs from the Ada County prosecutor’s office has been continuing to follow up the investigation of this case. When he contacted the authorities in the Ventura County Sherriff’s office, he was told that they spoke with Bendorf’s wife, who told authorities the case had been resolved through a civil suit which was settled in 2006, and was advised to speak with the attorney for Patricia Ross. This information is incorrect according to the court documents.
The investigation into the theft of Dr. Duncan’s belongings and their return to their rightful owner is still ongoing. Police have determined that Patricia Ross had several aliases using different last names such as Cox, Henderson and Bendorf. She also used the alias Ruth Blood. His property is believed to be in a storage unit at unknown location. Any information regarding the location of his property would be extremely helpful to the executor of his estate, Michael Borozan. If anyone has information regarding the location of the stolen items, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this page, and the information will be forwarded to Michael Borozan.
Meridian Idaho Police Report Case number 11-7121