PD: Woman charged with neglecting elderly disabled husband who she kept locked in 'filthy' room

Posted at 8:13 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 23:37:42-04

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- A woman has been charged with two counts of neglect related to the care of her husband in a home they shared in Greenwood. 

Police say Darlene Dickinson, 69, lived in a home with her elderly disabled husband. The investigation began back in May when a neighbor went to the fire station to report her concerns about the care of an elderly neighbor she had seen stumbling on his front porch. The woman told police that when she went to help the man, he was covered in feces. 

When police arrived, they found the elderly man, who they say is a stroke survivor and uses a wheelchair after a leg amputation, sitting on the front porch in a dirty shirt and dirty adult diaper. He told police that his wife had gone to the hospital and he had found his way outside because she wasn't home. 

Police reportedly found the home to be mostly clean and in good order, except the elderly man's bedroom, which the officer described as 'horrible,' and was covered in spoiled food, trash and feces. They say the man also appeared to be in poor health and was extremely thin. He was taken to the hospital to be treated and his weight was reported to be 100lbs. 

The elderly man told investigators that his leg had been amputated because he had developed a sore a couple of years ago that his wife refused to help him clean. He said that by the time his wife took him to the hospital to get the sore treated he had gangrene and they had no other choice but to amputate his leg.

He told them that for the last couple of years he had been shut in his room, which he described as 'filthy,' and that because his room was so dirty flies would bother him and that he would need to cover his head in order to sleep. 

The victim also told investigators that he only received one 'meals on wheels' meal and a warm Pepsi per day from his wife, and he has only been allowed out of his room once over the past two years. He also reported that he did not receive any of his prescriptions in that two years. 

The victim was removed from the home and placed in the care of his son and daughter. As of July the elderly man has reportedly gained back almost 30lbs.