Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Elder Abuse and Murder in Wayne County Missouri


Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Burns for bringing charges of elder abuse and murder.

Missouri State Hwy Patrol Sgt. Don Windham for the probable cause affidavit.

Wayne County Sheriff Dept for getting the Missouri State Hwy Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control involved.

Michelle Friedrich, Associate Editor, Daily American Republic Newspaper (DAR) for reporting elder abuse in Wayne County.

If you know of an elder who is being abused, or even if you are not sure, but you suspect abuse, call 911 or your local police department NOW. Your call can be anonymous, and you may save a life!

DAR Newspaper Article Wednesday February 14,2007 "4 Facing Elder Abuse, Murder Charges" in Wayne County Missouri by Michelle Friedrich:

GREENVILLE-Eula Mae Hendon, 64, was found dead at the rural Wappapello residence she shared with her daughter, Theresa L. Cespedes, and grandchildren, Melissa Ann Thompson, David J. Cespedes and Jose M. Cespedes Jr., on Jan. 29, 2006. Hendon's death was investigated by the Wayne County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Burns charged Theresa Cespedes, 39, Friday with the Class A felonies of seconddegree murder and first-degree elder abuse and the Class C felony of felonious restraint.

Burns also charged Thompson, 22, David Cespedes, 19, and Jose Cespedes, 18, with the Class A felony of elder abuse.

The complaint on file with the court alleges Theresa Cespedes “knowingly restrained Eula Mae Hendon … unlawfully and without consent so as to interfere substantially with her liberty and exposed (Hendon) to a substantial risk of serious physical injury.”

Complete DAR Article:

Elder Abuse

National Center for Elder Abuse

Missouri Dept of Health & Senior Services 24 hour Hotline 1-800-392-0210


What is Elder Abuse?

Where is Mary Lee Grobe?

Elder abuse of individuals in the community takes many forms, and in most cases victims are subjected to more than one type of mistreatment. In Missouri, over 50% of elder abuse reports allege physical neglect (to include self neglect); 10% allege financial exploitation; 8% allege physical abuse; and over 9% allege emotional abuse.

Abuse – the infliction of physical, sexual, or emotional injury or harm including financial exploitation by any person, firm, or corporation.
Neglect – the failure to provide services to an eligible adult by any person, firm or corporation with a legal or contractual duty to do so, when such failure presents either an imminent danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the client or a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm would result.
Eligible Adult – a person sixty years of age or old who is unable to protect his or her own interests or adequately perform or obtain services which are necessary to meet his or her essential human needs or an adult with a disability, as defined in section 660.053, between the ages of eighteen or fifty-nine who is unable to protect his or her own interests or adequately perform or obtain services which are necessary to meet his or her essential human needs.
Disability – a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, whether the impairment is congenital or acquired by accident, injury or disease, where such impairment is verified by medical findings.
Financial Exploitation - A person commits the crime of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person if such person knowingly and by deception, intimidation, or force obtains control over the elderly or disabled person's property with the intent to permanently deprive the elderly or disabled person of the use, benefit or possession of his or her property thereby benefiting such person or detrimentally affecting the elderly or disabled person.
The neglect
is most often attributable to the circumstances or environment of the victim – often circumstances beyond their control;
often includes significant limitations in major life activities such as walking, bathing, cleaning, preparing meals, or shopping.
The abuser
is most often a family member adult child, spouse, grandchild, and other relative; (25% of reports with someone named as a possible perpetrator)
may be experiencing difficulties or problems due to the stress associated with caregiving; and
may be frustrated or isolated.
Interventions must take into account, wherever possible, most seniors’ desire not to sever family ties.

The victim

is most often a female (64%)
white (79%)
living alone (43%)
with spouse or relative (42%)
may suffer from some form of dementia or physical impairment, often suffering from multiple limitations which make him/her dependent on others for care;
tends to be isolated;
may suffer from more than one type of abuse or neglect;
may be reluctant to admit his/her loved one is an abuser; and
may be fearful of reporting abuse, thinking it could lead to further harm, nursing home placement or total abandonment.
These characteristics make intervening more complicated and cases more difficult.


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