72-year-old Libia Vargas De Dinas said that during those three days, she maintained her composure and relied on her faith. She spoke to us on the phone because she wasn’t ready to tell her story on camera. When she is prepared, she says she wants to talk about it so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else again. “I prayed to God that he would take care of my health, body, mind, soul and spirit,” Vargas De Dinas said.
As she was getting better in a hospital bed, Vargas De Dinas said over the phone. The 72-year-old custodian was cleaning the Orange County Courthouse on Friday at 9:30 p.m., according to the incident report made public by the Orange County Sheriff‘s Office, when the door to the inmate holding cell shut behind her. She was confined. She was outside the cell with her janitorial cart and cell phone. She characterized it as a total point of despair. “It was the weekend. No one would go up to the top floor. The 23rd floor, “she said.
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The situation didn’t change until Monday AM. She slept on a bench for three nights without food, and she only drank water from a tap over the toilet. Additionally, Vargas De Dedinas has diabetes. The woman admitted to officials that she hadn’t taken any insulin since before being imprisoned. She thinks that what kept her alive was her faith. “My God, I know you are here with me,” Vargas De Dedinas said.
Deputies exclusively patrol the courthouse during regular business hours, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Several security officers from Allied Security Services patrolled the area during the weekend. According to Orange County Government, the holding cells are camera-free.
In a statement, they said: “Upon hearing of the plight of the janitorial employee, Orange County has mandated that the security company walk every space within the janitorial footprint.”
Orange County also stated that the automatic door closer had been uninstalled to prevent this from happening again. WESH 2 contacted Allied Security Services but hasn’t received a response yet. We also connected with Vargas De Dinas’ employer, Owen Realty Services. They claimed they had nothing to say.
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