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The Widow and the Nurse, Part Two

Page 3 of 8

In late November Snyder wrote Bridget a letter demanding she provide the name of the doctor who performed the abortion, even though she has always said she never had one. He also demanded the $4000 that Regina supposedly provided to pay for the procedure. (Bridget insists and has told police that Regina gave her only $1800.)

On the last day of February, Snyder, acting in Regina's name, sued Bridget for eviction from the house. She would be allowed to stay, he wrote to her, only if she proved she was pregnant.

A few days later, Bridget says, she fell on some stairs at home and miscarried. She did not tell Snyder about the miscarriage, and Snyder certainly behaved as if he was unaware of it. He sent Bridget a release from her personal doctor and ordered her to sign the form and return it to his office so he could obtain her medical records. "We will not stop the eviction proceedings until we can verify your pregnancy," he wrote.

Bridget never signed the form. Snyder evicted her from the house. Even after Bridget turned over the keys, Snyder continued to press for her medical records.

On March 21 Snyder summoned Bridget to his office. She arrived accompanied by Regina, having been driven over together in a car operated by Regina's current nurse. While Regina waited in the lobby, Snyder again ordered Bridget to authorize access to her medical history. "He was forcing me to give him my medical records," Bridget remembers. "He wanted to know what the doctors were treating me for. He wanted to see what was in the files, what was written up. That's my personal stuff. Maybe I would have given it to him if he wasn't so pushy. He's very bossy. He had a form out ready for me to sign. I just broke down and started crying."

Bridget left Snyder's office without signing the release. As she and Regina exited the building, they ran into an Aventura police officer. "I stopped and spoke to him, and he told me: "Don't sign that form,'" Bridget recalls. "If Snyder would leave me alone, it would be different. But he started this whole thing back up when he said he wants to see me in his office."



This incident, Bridget says, is what finally prompted her to tell the Aventura Police Department that Daniel Greenhill had raped her.Doubtful as they were, the police were duty-bound to investigate the rape allegation. The detective assigned to the case was James Cumbie, the same man who five months earlier had investigated Daniel's allegation that Bridget was exploiting Regina. Cumbie again met with Regina at the Bonavida. But whereas in October she was effusive in her praise of her former nurse, this time Regina told Cumbie a completely different story. Another difference between the two interviews: Attorney Michael Snyder was present during this second session.

Regina told Detective Cumbie she first learned of the rape claim in November, not on October 10, the day Bridget says the assault occurred. According to Regina, Bridget also asked for and received $4000 to pay for an abortion, not the $1800 Bridget claimed. In the months that followed the alleged rape, Regina said, Bridget routinely visited the Bonavida seeking food and money. Regina added that she wanted Bridget evicted from her house.

Cumbie never interviewed Daniel, who had returned to his home in Israel five months earlier. He did not interview any of Regina's friends or neighbors, nor did he attempt to locate or contact the doctor Bridget says administered the pregnancy test. According to Chief Tom Ribel, Cumbie didn't do any of this because he wasn't actually investigating Daniel.

"She approached us as a victim, in reaction to the boys -- for lack of a better term -- trying to get her out of their mother's life," Ribel said. "They knew what she was doing. I think the history of the case predates her alleged rape. The precipitating incident is not the allegation of rape. That is a defense technique."



Even though Bridget claimed she was the victim of a first-degree felony that carries the possibility of life in prison, and even though Cumbie technically was investigating this allegation, Aventura police essentially were still treating her as a suspect. Cumbie spent a month on the case before requesting it be closed owing to Bridget's poor credibility. He predicated his recommendation on two primary pieces of evidence: a statement from Bridget's doctor and a polygraph test given to Bridget. New Times, however, has determined that both pieces of evidence are seriously flawed.

Bridget receives her medical care from a clinic at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. Although she can be seen by any physician working the clinic at the time, most of her care has been provided by Dr. Kathryn Lotspeich. Detective Cumbie, in his report, noted that he conducted a telephone interview with Lotspeich this past April 2. The doctor advised "that she did see Ms. Garcia some five months ago and that Ms. Garcia told her she was pregnant. The doctor performed a blood-level test, which showed negative results indicating Ms. Garcia was not pregnant.

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Robert Andrew Powell