GRAPHIC CONTENT: Seattle woman arrested after elderly mother found bedridden, covered in maggots
POSTED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 4:31pm
SEATTLE (CNN) — Police near Seattle are shocked by a case of alleged elder abuse and say the scene was like a horror movie.
Responding deputies spent about 10 hours decontaminating it in haz-mat suits. While there's still a wheelchair out in front of the house, detectives say the victim in this case was bed-ridden and hadn't moved in days.
When they found her, they had to crawl through mounds of trash and swarms of flies. but it got worse.
"It's probably the worst case I've ever seen," said one officer. "I've never seen maggots eating off of a live person, they've always been off someone that's been deceased."
The victim in this case, very much alive, found stuck to soiled sheets inside her Auburn home. She's a 70-year-old woman and deputies blame the mess on her caretaker, who also happens to be her daughter.
Herrie Morton, 46, told detectives she only noticed the maggots that day. Deputies say that's impossible because there were hundreds here.
Oddly enough, the maggots may also have been keeping the 70-year-old woman alive. Maggots feed on decomposing tissue, so they won't eat good flesh, they eat infected dead flesh.
Another theory among investigators, Morton didn't tell anyone about the home's condition because she didn't want to lose it, or her 6-year-old son.
The roof was also caving in.
The elderly woman is in the hospital recovering, code enforcement has been told about the home and this woman, the caretaker, is behind bars.
Amazingly, police say the elderly woman claimed at the hospital that she had been well-cared for in her home. Authorities, obviously, beg to differ.
Mortob is charged with Second-Degree Criminal Mistreatment of a Dependent Person. She was jailed on $150,000 bail.