Mother Found Covered in Bugs in 'Worst Case of Neglect Ever Seen'; Daughter Arrested

A woman in Memphis has been arrested and charged with neglect after her 85-year-old mother was found covered in bugs and feces.

Officers responded to the 1500 block of Duke Street on June 15, where they found an elderly woman being transported into an ambulance by members of the Memphis Fire Department dressed in hazmat suits, WREG reported. First responders told Memphis police that they had discovered the elderly woman lying on a heavily soiled mattress on the floor of the house while covered in bugs, urine and feces.

The daughter of the woman, 57-year-old June Harber, was arrested by police after she identified herself as the primary caretaker. She was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Tuesday.

Harber has been charged with one count of aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult, and one count of aggravated abuse of an elderly or vulnerable adult. She is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Thursday at 9 a.m.

According to the police report, the odor coming from the home was so terrible that officers could not go inside. The residence was also described as being full of trash and in poor condition. Additional soiled sheets and blankets were found inside the home.

In an affidavit, a lieutenant with the fire department described it as "the worst case of neglect he has ever seen."

Doctors and social workers who treated the elderly woman at St. Francis hospital said she had dementia with delirium as well as pneumonia. Officials also declared her malnourished and pointed out she had developed pressure ulcers.

Under Tennessee state law, neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult that results in physical harm or bodily injury is a felony. An elderly person is described as someone who is 70 years of age or older.

June Harber Neglect Elder Abuse Memphis
June Harber, 57, was booked into Shelby County Jail on June 29, 2021. Harber was charged with aggravated abuse and aggravated assault of an elderly adult after her mother was found covered in bugs. Shelby County Sheriff's Office

Earlier this month, Memphis police charged another woman with aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult, as well as financial exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable adult, after an 80-year-old woman was found extremely dehydrated and emaciated.

A registered nurse who was asked to conduct a medical evaluation by an Adult Protective Services investigator found that the victim had been neglected and abused by the caregiver, causing the elderly adult to weigh between 75 to 80 pounds and suffer swollen limbs.

Helena Cates was charged after she was found residing at a room at the Inn-Town Suites, which she paid for with the elderly woman's rent, according to an affidavit.

Newsweek reached out to the Memphis Police Department for further comment, but did not hear back before publication.