Sep 1, 2009

Did a Boca Raton Couple Murder Elly Lorey Who Suffered from Alzheimer's Disease?

This story and trial are taking place about 7-10 miles from where I live--in Boca Raton, Florida. Is it murder, neglect, or just another day in the life of an Alzheimer's caregiver?

Here are some of the quotes and facts from the story which was written by Missy Diaz in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Elly Lorey spent the last of her 89 years in a state of extreme mental decay, living in a locked, unventilated room where she smeared excrement on the walls and existed on a diet of honey buns and Ramen noodles, according to police reports. When she died, Lorey had withered to 80 pounds. Despite the signs of advanced Alzheimer's disease, she had received no medical care.
Elly lived with Kerstin (the daughter) and Toby Fenn in a four-bedroom, two-bath home in the Cimarron neighborhood west of Boca Raton.
Wondering what their defense lawyer had to say for the paper?
"If [the Fenns] committed a crime, so have thousands of people across the country who care for Alzheimer's patients at home," said attorney Michael Salnick, who with co-counsel Ian Goldstein represents Kerstin Fenn, 53, and Toby Fenn, 50.
What does the state have as evidence?
The state will present evidence that Lorey lived in a locked room, where wood lattice covered a sliding glass door leading to the outside and pizza-box tops were nailed over the room's air conditioning vents in an effort to keep the stench from spreading through the rest of the house. A maid cleaned the Fenn home but refused to enter Lorey's room, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report.
Did her daughter and son-in-law do the best they could under difficult circumstances? Or did their actions constitute abuse and murder? It will be up to a Palm Beach County jury to decide.
A grand jury indicted the couple on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated abuse of the elderly. Lorey died of starvation and dehydration, according to the Palm Beach County medical examiner.
To read this story go here.

Also See
Quotes from the Elly Lorey Alzheimer's Murder Trial (Follow Up)

The Elley Lorey Trial -- Quotes of the Day -- Dr. Peter Rabins

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Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for advice and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 775 articles with more than 18,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room