INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Monday, the daughter of elder abuse victim Joann Briggs spoke exclusively with 41 Action News about the horror of her mother’s condition and asked that everyone try to help stop this from happening to other families.
“She's not conscience. It's a dire situation," Joann Briggs said.
Police released information about the situation in Independence near on August 12 when Gary Raps, 58, was charged with second degree elder abuse, a felony under Missouri law.
Prosecutors say Raps failed to care for his 73-year-old wife who fell ill nearly two weeks before she was taken to a hospital. Hospital staff called police after seeing that she weighed 70 pounds and had bed sores on her body.
READ MORE| Independence police investigating possible case of elder abuse: http://bit.ly/19EPA0o
Court documents say that when police entered their Independence home, they found poor living conditions. They say the recliner the victim was said to have been in for several days was covered in feces, urine and maggots.
Police said Raps admitted several times he should have helped his wife. He said when her condition became severe, he had “basically given up on his wife and did not know what to do.”
A week later, the victim’s daughter said her mother is still hospitalized.
"She's in a lot of pain. All they can do is try and make her comfortable and she's not conscious," Briggs said. "They are going to have to take her leg."
Briggs said Raps had always taken good care of her mom in their marriage of 13 years. She said she is shocked and wishes now that he had asked for help.
"Stay in better contact with your loved ones, especially if you live far away from them, and talk to your actual loved ones, don't talk to a second party," she said.
Briggs urges people to speak up and contact police if they see something out of the ordinary.
"If you don't see someone out in the yard for a while, call somebody. Get an authority over there. Get someone over there so they can see what's going on," she said.
Briggs also said a neighbor took an exotic bird from the home that her mom had as a companion and says they are asking for hundreds of dollars to return the bird.
She says the bird is one of the few things she had that reminds her of her of her mother and hopes that the issue can be resolved.
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