Elderly abuse victim recovering in hospital
An elderly Moultrie woman is still in the hospital recovering from what police say is one of the worst elderly abuse cases they've ever seen. Two people face charges for the alleged crime.
74-year-old Christine Welch will have her feet amputated once doctors can get her well enough for the surgery. Right now she weighs 80 pounds. Police say 34-year-old Tasha Chambers and 55-year-old Royce Dillard, Jr. were living at 213 3rd Street NW with Welch and were supposed to be caring for her. Someone called 911 because Welch was having trouble breathing Thursday. When EMS and police got there they found Welch malnourished with bed sores infested with maggots and gangrene on her feet. Chambers and Dillard now face felony charges of cruelty to a person 65 or older.
"The house was very, very unsanitary. Particularly the room in which Ms. Welch was staying," said Corporal Dave Underwood. "It's not really much of a room. It was a mattress and a box spring in there. Clothes on the mattress. There were some other items in there I don't even know how to describe."
It's not clear how long Welch was living at the house or how long Dillard and Chambers were supposed to be taking care of her. Dillard's niece told us off camera that Chambers had training as a nursing assistant. Police are still looking into that.
Neighbors say they were shocked to see Welch in that condition because she has two daughters living in Moultrie. One lives just two blocks away.
Police say Welch was collecting social security every month and are looking into whether or not her caretakers were taking the money. Police are now asking neighbors to be nosy, so this doesn't happen again.
"If someone had carefully looked at this lady's condition, which I'm assuming they did, this could've been prevented," Underwood said.
If you suspect elderly abuse call the Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-888-774-0152.