Elderly woman nearly starves to death, sons in custody

Roderick West, 55, was also charged with elder abuse.
/ Press Release

Officials responded to a call on November 7th at the 2300 block of Bettys Drive to check on an elderly female in bad health.

When officials arrived on scene, 81-year-old Verma Walker was found living in deplorable conditions. The retired school teacher was extremely malnourished and covered in bad bed sores which had ants and maggots inside of them.

Walker was found in a filthy room with feces scattered around the area.

"The conditions of the house, where she was kept, I can only describe them as abominable," says Capt. Craig Dodd, with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

The rest of the home was clean.

Police say Verma Walker was at the point of starvation and doctors didn't believe she would make it through the weekend.

Dougherty County Police were notified of the case on Friday, November 9th. They obtained a search warrant for the home and questioned the woman's sons about her condition.

Both Vernon West, 59, and Roderick West, 55, were detained for questioning.

When asked about why they let this happen to their mother, the men replied that the situation was just a poor judgment call.

Vernon West was arrested for elder abuse, probation violation, and giving false statements to authorities. Roderick West, 55, was also charged with elder abuse.

Medical professionals say the woman had not been properly bathed or fed for at least a month and a half.

Roderick West worked for the EPD as an air checker.

Officials are still investigating the case to see if further charges will arise.

Verma Walker was receiving retirement benefits and she had all the proper insurance to receive medical care.

"They could have easily enrolled her into a nursing home where she could have been cared for," says Capt. Dodd.

Verma Walker is in intensive care and doing better. The two sons are arrested with no bond.

This case is still under investigation.