Utah caretaker arrested after disabled men found in ‘deplorable’ conditions

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah - A caretaker in Cottonwood Heights may now face charges for abuse, neglect and public intoxication.

Police arrested 55-year-old Pamela K. Rittenhouse when they discovered disabled men in her care living in "deplorable" conditions.

Authorities said they found cat feces all over the home that was cluttered with garbage among other health concerns.

A case worker found the two men Wednesday evening and called police.

"The call came in from a worker who had made phone contact with the woman last night, and she had concerns, things sounded a little different to her on the phone, so she decided to go there in person," said Sgt. Corbett Ford of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department

Officers said they found one man in a wheelchair and the other man in his room on the floor with his pants around his ankles and a dirty diaper.

Police said Rittenhouse started yelling that the officer was upsetting "her boys."

According to police documents, the officer said Rittenhouse appeared under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The officer said he stepped outside to speak with the case worker and Rittenhouse locked him out of the home.

Documents state a couple arrived and told the officer Rittenhouse was stressed and upset because an employee recently left. They said they could help calm Rittenhouse and ensure the men were taken care of.

Moments later authorities received a 911 call from the home with a woman yelling in the background.

The officer went back to the home and found Rittenhouse was slurring her words and having a hard time standing on her own.

She was trying to force the couple from her house, saying they were against her.

At that point the officer arrested her.

"They were concerned whether she would adequately be able to take care of herself as well as the adults she was caring for inside the residence," Ford said.

Neighbor Susan Gerberding said she was surprised about what happened.

“I’m shocked because she’s sweet and loving and has always been concerned for the boys, I never would have imagined this,"she said.

The documents state Rittenhouse told the officer she had fed the men earlier that day but hadn't changed their diapers yet because she "was having a very bad day."

Multiple agencies are investigating the case. Adult Protective Services said confidentially laws prevent them from commenting on the case.

Rittenhouse, Pamela K. SO# 381457

3 comments

  • Matt

    Some folks are in it just for the money. If they really cared about people things like this would not happen. Pull her license or authorization to care for anyone and tell her to find a new line of work elsewhere. If I were a relative of one of the men I would also take her to court in a civil case for her failure to care for my relative properly. She can spend the next few years ‘paying’ for her insensitivity towards others as a ‘caregiver’.

  • bob

    And all the while cashing the taxpayer’s checks.

    She needs to experience the level of care at the State Prison for a few years. And pay back every, single cent she stole from us……25 cents an hour, stamping license plates.

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