Neighbors say rats, roaches and snakes moved into home left behind by Villager in nursing home


A Villager believed to be in an Ocala nursing home has left behind a home now inhabited by rats, roaches and snakes.

Neighbors pleaded with Community Development District 4 supervisors on Friday to take action at the home at 9143 SE 172nd Santee Place in the Village of Woodbury.

The property at 9143 SE 172nd Santee Place in the Village of Woodbury.
The property at 9143 SE 172nd Santee Place in the Village of Woodbury.

Neighbors said the owner, Lucy Leuthard, could no longer take care of herself and has been put in a nursing home in Ocala.

The home has since been neglected.

The grass has not been cut, weeds have sprung up and a variety of pests have taken over the home, the neighbors said.

“We don’t know who is responsible for the property. No one has been in there for months,” said Eileen Bakhart, who lives across the street from the property.

Betty Lou Davies, who lives next door, said roaches are invading her home as a result of a thriving roach population at the deserted property.

“Vines are all over the front of the house,” she added.

Leuthard left no emergency contacts. The mortgage is held through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Community Standards attempted to reach out to HUD, but the government agency would not provide information regarding the status of the mortgage.

“We are seeing a lot of this. Not just in your neighborhood, but all over The Villages,” said CDD 4 Supervisor Don Deakin.

He lamented the fact that Leuthard apparently had not made arrangements in case she was to die or become incapacitated.

After a public hearing, CDD 4 supervisors found the property in violation of deed compliance.

Fines are to be imposed and the District will maintain the property with an additional $250 fine imposed each time it is maintained.



  1. It took about 3 minutes to do a Google search of her name to find multiple family members and their addresses, phone numbers, etc. I’m not sure why someone hasn’t done this research – or perhaps it has been done and just not reported in the article . It’s sad when folks are alone in their old age.

    • Hi Ed, My name is Val. I live in Myrtlke Beach in a little community called Amberfield. Lucy ownes a home here as well and it is in the exact same condition. There are squatters n the home as well and one sells drugs. Its a horrible situation. I have been writing Lucy for months and just today found out she is in a nursing home. I wanted to tell her of the situaton. Ive done my homework and located several family members. Noone is talking.
      I will call every nursing home on Monday until I find poor Lucy. I hear she had a son John and cant find him yet, Help? Val

  2. Unfortunately the Santee home has a very large reverse mortgage on it. So it definitely will turn into a foreclosure. Foreclosures take a while. I had a Neighbor’s house that sat empty for six years three doors down for me. We were all shocked to realize the inside had no mold of any type when it was inspected. So if the neighbors can take care of the outside yard by cutting bushes, setting traps or doing insect control they would be better off In the long run! One of the easiest ways to eliminate having some of these problems is to make sure that if you have a spouse that you have life insurance on each other. That way the spouse has a way to keep the house for the long term without doing the reverse mortgage.

  3. These are tough situations becoming more common in the VIllages as the population ages. People that have no relatives that can and are willing to take over their affairs in the event they become incapacitated to take care of themselves or their property need to spend a few hundred dollars and get a revocable living trust. There are several senior law attoeneys in and near the VIllages as well as reputable and licensed trust companies that can act as trustee. That would avoid situations like this. At minimum, everyone should have a up-to-date power of attorney, living will, medical directive and will drawn by a Florida attorney who specialized in senior law (Not your home state attorney).

  4. A very simple fix: Every homeowner, should be required to fill out a form, retained by the CDD, providing backup contacts for situations such as this. We all expect to live a long life, however, we are all frogs or snowbirds and someone, someday, will have to pick up where we left off.

    • I looked her up on the Marion Co Property Assessor, seems she has been having trouble in paying the property tax since 2010, on and off. I think “WE” as a group of THE VILLAGES, should see what can be done by somebody. Its just like everybody is saying “WE” have to take care of each other because nobody else will. Your point about “asking” the resident for info is an excellent idea. There are too many of us that are living into are 80’s, 90’s & forever, to be at a point where we let things go. Nobody wants to be at a point in our lives that we just let everything on. I for one take great pride in living in The Villages, I would not want my friends and neighbors to have to look at this or anything out of place. “WE” need to help each other.

  5. I don’t understand why the POA or Community Standards can’t get communication from HUD on this matter. This is a terrible situation. I know the poor woman probably is not even aware she owns a home. But, this becomes a health hazard and HUD remains mum on the subject. What happens if it is damaged in a hurricane or tornado? What happens if it burns down? Certainly TV has lawyers with remedies for these situations. This is going to happen more and more as TV grows.

  6. that sounds real good and tough>>> but a precedent has been set… read the 1st thread today about the Palo Alto drug house… FINES ARE ALL FORGIVEN, and the bleeding hearts are all too happy for all this compassion and FORGIVENESS… the district is spending OUR money when it steps in, but that is okay with all the liberal lefty bleeding hearts that believe the government is their daddy… now ALL homes that fall into this situation are the responsibility of the district… thank you to the brain dead supervisors playing with OUR money

    i have made ALL arrangements for ALL areas of my life, including care for my dog… do you people think you are going to live forever in this world??? it is very foolish and irresponsible to not plan and provide for such as this… but then again as Steve said, (in the Palo Alto thread), i am “mean and spiteful” for my opinion… that may be true, but at least i am paying for and responsible for my home, and the district will NEVER spend a dime of YOUR money on MY home

    • I guess we got lucky. The house next door has been vacant for over a year since the owner died unexpectedly. Arrangements must’ve been made ahead of time as family members, who live over 100 miles away, continue to pay utilities, amenities and total yard care. It is common sense to plan for your own demise. Perhaps this person has NO ONE left to help.

    • Liz, you go girl, tell it like it is. Bleeding heart politics are the same everywhere, it stinks up the world, so easy for those people to spend ‘our’ money in the name of ‘sympathy’, makes me sick. HUD owns this house, well guess what, it will probably fall down in a heap before those people do anything, remember, it’s tax payer money and they don’t give a rat’s ass.

    • LiZa, we, too, have planned ahead and all is place. That being said, unfortunately, too many people have absolutely no idea how to do this. Too many have problems with everyday business because how many times do we hear, “Oh, I don’t know anything about all that. My husband/wife takes care of all that. Our kids don’t need to be bothered. They have their own lives.”

      My advice to couples is TALK TO EACH OTHER and get involved. We both had business experience, but we still talked and worked together on everything. This is exactly why I have been able to take care of everything for the last 15 years since his stroke in 2002. He is unable to communicate. I can ask him questions, but he cannot give me any answers. I have power of attorney for everything. I also have everything in a revocable living trust. Since we are a blended family, if something happens to me, it is spelled out exactly how things are to be handled and who is responsible for what. We work together and communicate, as well.

      Had we not had the communication we had, for example, I would never have known that he had a child that only lived for 3 days back in 1953. He told me a month before he had the stroke that he wanted to go to that grave site on our next trip to Tennessee. I forgot about the conversation until we were on our way moving here. When we were in TN, he kept trying to tell me something, but I could not figure it out. Finally, it dawned on me and I asked him if that was what he was trying to say. He tearfully nodded, yes. We went to the place and found that grave.

      If any of you want more information, feel free to contact me. We are listed in the phone book.

      This could well be addressed in orientation here and at the closing. Everyone here knows about the amenities, etc., but this and golf cart safety seem much more important. Perhaps they could add more emphasis in these areas.