Psychic arrested again - Still didn't see it coming

The Alpenhorn News, California/June 7, 2013

After a nearly six-month-long investigation, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department investigators obtained arrest warrants for 57-year old Cindy S. Uwanawich, also known as Cindy McKinney and Cindy Williams, and her husband, 56-year-old Nick Uwanawich, both former Crestline residents.

Uwanawich was the former owner/operator of "The Psychic Door," located on Lake Drive in Crestline.

Acting on a request from the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station, deputies from the Yucaipa Sheriff's Station located both Uwanawiches at their psychic business address located in the area of the 3400 block of County Line Road in the City of Yucaipa at approximately 6:30 p.m. on May 20. During the contact, the Yucaipa deputies also discovered that the Uwanawiches had not been issued a permit to operate a psychic business in the City of Yucaipa. In the original complaint, which started the local investigation, a Crestline resident contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department after she had had several "readings" from Uwanawich, beginning in December of 2012. During one of the readings, the unidentified victim alleged that Uwanawich informed her that the spirit of a drowned person had attached itself to her, bringing a negative energy that was affecting her personal and professional life. In addition, the victim was told that this negative energy was at times jeopardizing the safety of her and/or her family.

Reportedly, Uwanawich claimed that she would be able to rid the victim of the negative spirit if the victim gave her 9 pennies, 9 nickels, 9 dimes, 9 quarters, and $9,000 for a period of 9 days. Uwanawich allegedly told the victim that after the 9-days, all of the money would be returned to her.

After the victim was unable to recontact Uwanawich past the nine-day cleansing period, the Sheriff's Department was notified. Sheriff's Department investigators subsequently opened an investigation and contacted Uwanawich for an interview as part of the investigation.

Based on information obtained from the victim and statements made to investigators by Uwanawich herself, Uwanawich was arrested and booked at the county jail on January 18, 2013 for violation of California Penal Code (PC) Section 487 (grand theft) and PC Section 503 (embezzlement). As a result of that arrest, a media press release was issued by the Sheriff's Department, both to announce the arrest and also in hopes that the released information might lead to additional victims.

Detective Scott Thies, the lead investigator on the complaint, told The Alpenhorn News that as a result of the press release, seven additional victims contacted him in reference to Cindy Uwanawich and her readings. As the investigation continued and grew, Cindy Uwanawich's husband was also identified as an alleged suspect in some of the allegations.

Thies said that he believes there are more victims, but they may be hesitant to contact the Sheriff's Department and identify themselves for any number of possible reasons. Thies confirmed that his investigation has identified a total of eight victims, the individual identities of which Thies does not want to divulge at this time for reasons of the victim's privacy and concerns about the integrity of the investigation.

Thies said, currently the allegations contained in the District Attorney's complaint extend over a three-year period of time with the alleged offenses occurring not only at "The Physic Door" in Crestline, but at the Uwanawich's homes in Crestline and San Bernardino, "The Physic Door" located in the area of 40th St. and Waterman Ave. in San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Idyllwild and at "various high end hotels."

Thies declined to release exact details on the various methods or techniques allegedly used by the Uwanawiches to get the multiple victims to part with their money. Thies did confirm that all the identified victims related the most common technique as being similar to the reading provided to the original victim, that being a vengeful spirit had attached itself to them and was causing negative energy or harm to the victims.

Thies did state that the lowest financial loss reported by any of the victims was for $664, with the highest individual loss reported to be $133,000.

When the investigation, with the now eight victims, was presented to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office on May 7, after review, a complaint was filed in the San Bernardino Superior Court charging both Cindy Uwanawich and her husband, Nick Uwanawich, with three counts each of violation of PC Section 487(a), grand theft of money or other valuable property.

An arrest warrant was obtained for the Uwanawiches and several attempts were made by the Twin Peaks investigators to serve the warrants at the Uwanawich's known business location in San Bernardino and Yucaipa. During one attempt to contact the Uwanawiches at the San Bernardino location, the Uwanawiches were not located, but several people who had apparently broken into the business and were living there were located and arrested.

After the Uwanawich's arrest in Yucaipa, Cindy Uwanawich was booked at the West Valley Detention Center in Etiwanda and husband Nick Uwanawich was booked at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino. The bail set at the time of booking for both Uwanawiches was set at $500,000.

At the Uwanawich's arraignment before Judge Kenneth R. Barr on May 22, both entered a plea of not guilty to the three allegations. Bail was confirmed at $500,000 and a request for OR (Own Recognizance) release was denied for both suspects. A pre-preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 30 in Department S21 at 8:30 a.m.

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