TOLEDO (AP) — A disabled 33-year-old man found dead at his father’s home was covered in bed sores, malnourished and had bones sticking through his skin, said authorities who accused his father and step-mother of severe medical neglect.
Investigators near Sandusky said it appeared that David Arthur Jr., who was unable to walk, had been lying in the same spot in his bed for months.
Arthur’s father and his step-mother, who is employed as a home health care aide, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person. They were being held at the Erie County jail and are due to be arraigned Friday. They do not yet have an attorney.
David Arthur Sr. and his wife, Deborah Arthur, were arrested Wednesday, three days after a deputy discovered the gruesome death, said Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.
“This is just a sad, sad case,” he said.
David Arthur Jr., who suffered a brain injury in a car accident when he was a teenager and years later lost the ability to walk, had been living in a nursing home until he moved in with his father and step-mother three years ago.
He was doing well in the nursing home where he received around-the-clock care, the sheriff said.
But his weight dropped from 300 pounds to less than 100 in the past three years at home, Sigsworth said. He also had not seen a doctor since around the time he left the nursing home, the sheriff said.
Deborah Arthur, 46 called the sheriff’s office on Sunday to report that David Jr. had died at their home near Castalia, which is midway between Toledo and Cleveland.
The family members told investigators that they were feeding him regularly and changing him, but his condition showed he had been neglected, Sigsworth said.
They also said that Deborah Arthur, who worked outside the home as a health aide, was the primary caregiver for David Arthur Jr., the sheriff said.
She told deputies that if he would have been one of her patients at work that she would have reported the situation to a supervisor, Sigsworth said.
“His condition wasn’t reported to any medical professional as far as we can find,” he said.
David Arthur Sr., 54, told investigators that he was aware of his son’s condition, but said his wife was in charge of the care, Sigsworth said.