More MS news articles for May 1999

Abused woman found; husband is held

May 27, 1999

EVERETT, Wash. -- A man has been arrested for allegedly beating and starving his disabled wife for 17 years, hiding her from the world on a decrepit docked sailboat.

Victor Matthew David, 59, was arrested Tuesday on assault charges and jailed on $150,000 bail. He could get up to 10 years in prison.

In 1997, police were called to the couple's sailboat by a social worker who was trying to determine whether David was fraudulently collecting his wife's disability checks. She has multiple sclerosis.

Police said they found Linda David, 50, wearing vomit-stained clothes in a room covered with dog feces.

She was almost blind and barely able to speak. Her face was badly scarred, and her arms had been broken and had healed without medical attention.

Linda David, who is recovering in a nursing home, said: "No way I could get off (the boat) to get help. That was home. I never had anywhere else."

Prosecutors said David wasn't arrested for about two years because of the difficulty in building a case. He had kept his wife so well-hidden that neighbors weren't aware she was there, prosecutors said.

David said any injuries his wife had were caused when she fell out of a truck.