Once trustworthy contractor disappears, costing couple a hefty sum for unfinished work

OSBORN, Mo. -- Leola and Norman Baumgarden had hoped to spend their senior years relaxing. They even bought a motor home that they planned to park behind their home when they weren’t travelling.

That’s where this problem starts.

“I don’t think we are ever going to see the whites of his eyes again,” said Leola, referring to Randy Turner, the man she and her husband had paid $11,500 last February to build a garage for their motor home.

Randy Turner of Turner and Sons Construction in nearby Weatherby had promised to start building the garage by late February. He said he needed the hefty down payment so he could pick up supplies.

The Baumgardens said they usually never pay for work up front, but they had used Turner twice before and trusted him.

“He always did the work,” Mrs. Baumgarden said. But the big difference between those jobs and this one was the Baumgardens had paid Turner after the work was done.

Since the Baumgardens handed over all that cash, all they’ve seen from Turner are text messages:

In April, Turner texted that his truck broke down. A couple of weeks later, he texted that his crew was a no show.

In June, he had hurt his shoulder. Later that same month, he texted that the weather was too bad to work.

By July, five months after the garage should have already been built, Turner had a new excuse: high blood pressure had landed him in the hospital.

Of course, if anyone had the right to high blood pressure it was Leola Baumgarden.

“How frustrated would you be if you lost $11,500 and you are in your 70s and nobody wants to hire anyone that old?” Mrs. Baumgarden asked with tears in her eyes. “So how are you going to save that kind of money again?”

Since August, Turner has stopped even answering her texts and phone calls. That’s why she called FOX4 Problem Solvers.  We tried contacting Turner multiple times either online and by phone.

We never heard back. But we haven’t given up trying to get justice for Mrs. Baumgarden. We encouraged her to file a complaint with the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department, which she has.

She has also filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. It’s a felony to defraud the elderly in Missouri. Besides that, it’s just plain mean.

By the way, if you happen to see Randy Turner, please let him know that FOX4 Problem Solvers are looking for him.