Wealthy 96-year-old widow killed while baking birthday cookies in murder-for-hire plot

MONTECITO, CA – A shocking murder-for-hire plot has rocked the affluent town of Montecito, CA, resulting in the death of a “vibrant” 96-year-old widow, Violet Evelyn Alberts. Alberts was found dead in her home after law enforcement responded to a welfare check and detected signs of foul play. The cause of death was later classified as asphyxiation.

Further investigation led authorities into a web of deceit and manipulation surrounding Alberts’ assets, the key perpetrator of which was identified as Pauline Macareno, age 48. Macareno was believed to have been introduced to the elderly victim through an unknown third party, who is yet to be identified.

Alberts, living in a valuable property but with diminishing financial resources, was said to have been targeted by Macareno, who forged documentation and established deceptive entities to control Alberts’ assets from 2020 onwards. This exploitation involved a scheme centered around a reverse mortgage which Macareno used to fraudulently acquire Alberts’ property.

While reluctant to divulge further specifics regarding the motivation behind the murder, Sheriff Paul Brown suggested that Macareno’s plot aimed to hasten the victim’s demise. Macareno was apprehended and charged with elder abuse, fraud, and manipulation of legal documents, ultimately sentenced to six years in state prison.

Per Sheriff Brown, three additional individuals were arrested in connection with Alberts’ case. Harry Basmadjian, Henry Rostomyan, and Ricardo MartinDelCampo face charges ranging from murder to conspiracy. Alongside Macareno, they are believed to be part of a sophisticated scheme to exploit and harm the elderly victim for financial gain.

Preparing to celebrate her birthday with fresh cookies prior to her death, Alberts lived a life that touched many and enjoyed a warm reputation in her community. The law enforcement seeks additional information to investigate the case further.