Utah women charged with abuse after maggots found inside neglected mother’s open wounds

SALT LAKE CITY -- Two women have been charged after police say they neglected their mother, who was found covered in feces and with maggots inside of open wounds.

According to charging documents filed Wednesday, the alleged elder abuse was reported to police in June of 2018.

Police responded to a home in Salt Lake City and found a woman "lying in her feces with multiple wounds/bed sores on her body."

The woman also had a "gaping wound" that was decayed to the point her bone was exposed, while other open wounds had green puss, maggots and black flesh around the edges, the documents state.

The victim is confined to a bed and wheelchair and requires assistance daily. Police state she is in the care of her two adult daughters, 38-year-old Paula Leona Rhodes and 37-year-old Terry Gardner.

Charging documents indicate Rhodes admitted she had not bathed or cleaned her mother in a few weeks and that Gardner told police she was aware of the maggots in her mother's wounds.

Both women were charged with one count of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a charge which is enhanced for domestic violence and is a third-degree felony in this case. A summons has been issued for them to appear in court in answer to the charge.

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

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