Husband charged with neglect after wife sits in feces for days

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The husband of a 73-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree elder abuse after she was taken to a Kansas City hospital in critical condition.

According to police records, Gary R. Raps, 58, told police and hospital staff his wife grew ill about 11 days prior to her being taken to the hospital. He said she sat in a recliner before she was finally taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Hospital staff said the woman weighed about 70 pounds and was covered in bed sores. Police were given consent to search the home where they found the recliner where the woman sat covered in urine and feces.

A neighbor couldn't believe how bad conditions had deteriorated inside the home.

"She needed help and Gary wasn't giving it to her obviously," neighbor Cathy Dickson said."He could've picked up the phone and called somebody you know who could've helped her. I can't believe he just let her sit there."

According to the police report, the recliner and surrounding area was also covered in roaches, maggots, flies and what appeared to be fly larva. Police said the entire house was infested with roaches and flies.

Raps was taken to the police station where he told authorities his wife became immobile and stopped talking four days prior. He said he attempted to clean her by changing her clothes and wiping her with a cloth a couple of times but eventually gave up.

Lori Fisher is Regional Director of Clinical Services at Grace Hospice in Kansas City. She said when a person first realizes that they can no longer care for an elderly or ill spouse or parent, that's the time to seek outside medical help before it's too late.

“A lot of the population is worried about finances. We can help them to get those things in place to get the loved one the care that they need," Fisher said.

Police said Raps acknowledged the bug infestation in the house and said he knew it was not normal.

Raps is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.



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