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Hawthorne Couple Arrested On Suspicion Of Elder Abuse

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(L) Janice Bartmess and (R) Gregory Bartmess (credit: Hawthorne Police Department)

(L) Janice Bartmess and (R) Gregory Bartmess (credit: Hawthorne Police Department)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Authorities say a Hawthorne couple has been arrested on suspicion of elder abuse after police found the woman’s 86-year-old mother bedridden, with open sores and soiled clothing.


Hawthorne police said Saturday that Janice Bartmess and Gregory Bartmess were also booked on suspicion of cruelty to animals, because of the conditions of 13 dogs taken from their home in Hawthorne.

“We remember her back like 15 years ago. She used to walk around with a cane,” Cesar Soldana, a neighbor, said.

That was the last time Soldana saw or even heard of his elderly neighbor until a tipster led police to the home, where officers found rotting food out in the open and animal feces on the floors.

Lt. Gary Tomatani said the elderly woman was wearing a hospital gown soiled with feces and urine.

“The conditions physically inside the room that she was in were very dirty. There was rotting and spoiled food in various containers on the floor and on the tables and there was animal feces on the floor,” he added.

Her name has not been released.

Police say the woman was taken to a hospital to be care for and will eventually be turned over to county Adult Protective Services.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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