Metro Police Sergeant Henry Prendes died in the line of duty in 2006.
The 37 year old man was married to his wife Dawn for nearly two years. His daughters from another marriage were just 13 and 15 years old, at the time of his death.
“As soon as we pull up in the driveway, I just see cop cars, and I knew it was something that had to do with my dad,” said Brooke Waugh, his daughter.
Shortly after his death, Dawn Prendes, announced that her husband’s dream was to open a camp for troubled and underprivileged youth.
“I mentioned it at his funeral service,” she said. “God had a plan. It was going to happen with or without him.”
For more than a decade, there have been fundraisers to raise money for the camp. Now, the daughters of Prendes, along with his friends and some Las Vegas Metro Police Department retirees want to know what happened to the money collected to build the camp.
“We were extremely close with my dad too, and there was never talk about him wanting to open up a camp, Prendes’ daughter, Kylee Prendes said.
For more than a decade, the community has reached out attending events like an annual golf classic, donating money, and more.
But the campgrounds in Cedar City, Utah for “Henry’s Place,” seem to remain barren. The I-team went to the campgrounds in Cedar City, Utah. There was a mainly empty field, an amphitheatre in the works, and an obstacle course.
I-Team Reporter Vanessa Murphy: There has been fundraisers year after year, for – it’s over a decade now, but the camp is not there.”
Dawn Prendes: “Correct.”
Vanessa Murphy: “What would you say to that?”
Dawn Prendes: “Well, the land is there. I purchased it for $300,000. So, basically the money I got for Henry’s death – I purchased it, this land called “Henry’s Place.”
Dawn Prendes said she bought the land in 2008.
I-Team Reporter Vanessa Murphy: “Who did you buy the land from?”
Dawn Prendes: “I bought it from JR Davenport.”
Vanessa Murphy: “Who is he?”
Dawn Prendes: “My husband.”
Vanessa Murphy: “And…”
Dawn Prendes: “And at the time we weren’t even dating when I bought it from him.”
Vanessa Murphy: “That’s one of the criticisms that you bought the land from…”
Dawn Prendes: “OK, I don’t know why that’s a problem. Why is that a problem? I bought it from the bank. He didn’t own it. I mean he owed money on it. He probably made some kind of profit on it, but I bought it to build a camp.”
“She has this land that was her boyfriend’s and they exchanged it and she has these people donating money and these different forms of revenue but still nothing so that’s what we’re like. It doesn’t make any sense, Kylee Prendes said.
Kylee Prendes and Brooke Waugh tell the I-Team they want authorities to investigate the charity.
“We’ve done a ton of work here that you can’t see,” said Dan Maruyama, camp director. “There’s underground sewer system, water system, electrical backbone.”
He said money has been spent on infrastructure. Dawn Prendes also points to fees and licenses and a Facebook page which details the construction process, along with financial records which she says are open to anyone.
She told the I-Team, a total of about $347,000 dollars has been raised and there’s nearly $100,000 in the bank and she donates her personal money and time.
“I just wish that she would remove my dad’s name, honestly,” Brooke Waugh told the I-team.
The daughters call the Henry’s place website misleading. The images aren’t from camp now. They’re old photos from family camp days and renderings of what the camp could look like in the future.
“It’s been 11 years of Dawn raising funds and the so-called dream that my dad had of a children’s camp. That was news to us so we’re just kind of asking the question of where is it?” Brooke Waugh said.
They can say whatever they want about me,” Dawn Prendes said. “I know the truth.”
The first time children were at the camp was last year for less than a week. Since there’s no lodging there yet, they stayed at a second home Dawn Prendes owns nearby.
The camp director tells us the plan this year is to have two groups of children stay for two weeks on nearby grounds since no lodging is available at Henry’s place right now.