Horrifying Case of Elderly Abuse in Panola County
Authorities arrested a man and a woman last weekend for charges of injury to the elderly after they found two women who were being abused. When a person driving down FM 959 called 9-1-1 and reported a woman lying in the front yard, deputies went to investigate. They found one woman lying on a pile of trash and later discovered another lying in her own waste.
Victim Couldn't Cry for Help
The woman in the yard was conscious, but she couldn't tell authorities what was wrong. She repeatedly pointed to the house, but when deputies knocked, no one answered. They gave the woman a pen and paper and she wrote there was someone else inside who needed help.
When they entered the home, trash and human waste were on the furniture, on the ground and everywhere else throughout. The temperature inside was a chilly 55 degrees. The other victim was unconscious in a pile of refuse.
They found suspects Shane and Shannin Campbell in a locked bedroom. Shane said the woman in the front yard was his mother and the other woman was his grandmother, and that he and his wife were taking care of the two of them. He said the woman in the yard couldn't speak because she is deaf and mute.
The victims told police they hadn't had medicine or food in days. EMS transported them to the hospital where healthcare workers treated them for dehydration, hypothermia, cuts and other issues.
Spotting Elderly Abuse in Texas
Some research suggests as many as two million U.S. citizens over the age of 65 are mistreated by a caregiver in a given year. A National Elder Abuse Incidence Study indicates only about 20 percent of cases are reported.
The Texas Attorney General's office says abuse includes the following:
- Involuntary seclusion
- Threatening punishment
- Hitting, pinching, slapping, kicking or any other type of physical assault
- Verbal abuse, whether it's oral, written or gestured
- Failing to provide goods or services necessary for physical and emotional health
- Exploitation of the senior's financial resources
If you suspect the abuse of a senior, call local law enforcement or the Texas Department of State Health Services.