ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– An elderly woman died after her caretaker neglected her for months, and this has led to criminal charges being filed.
Sharon Moore, 73, who was her mother’s primary caregiver, faces a single felony charge of neglect of care of a dependent person. She is currently out on unsecured bail set at $25,000, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.
“Elderly individuals who cannot take care of themselves are in such a vulnerable position and it is our job to look out for them when they are being taken advantage of or not getting the proper care they need and deserve,” Assistant District Attorney Sara Miller said in a statement. “In this case, Adams County Office for Aging had been involved with this Victim and Defendant for a period of time before our office got involved. Office for Aging made numerous attempts to help the Defendant properly care for the Victim, the Defendant’s elderly mother, but all those attempts were refused. “
Louise Bortner was brought to the hospital on April 27 and died a day later from “sepsis due to pressure ulcer infection,” the autopsy report showed. The criminal complaint states that she had a wound several inches long on her right hip that was showing her tendons and bone, along with an ulcer.
The last time Bortner was at the hospital before being admitted in April was in August 2022, and police said that medical records showed that she was supposed to be back in February.
The county’s Office for the Aging offered to give assistance but was allegedly denied by Moore multiple times. Agents from the office had to get a court order to let them into Moore’s home because she would not let them in, police said.
Moore’s home was described to be filthy with “extreme” hoarding-like living conditions. It was noted in the criminal complaint that records from the office showed agents offered to clean the house and even pick up medication but Moored denied the offers.
Inside the home, there were mice, jars of urine, and human waste found throughout the home, along Longview Drive, during a search in April, the complaint reads. The bathroom was not usable, and the kitchen ceiling was collapsing, plus there was a strong stench of rotten food and garbage was in piles.
Emergency personnel had to cut a hole out of a window in order to get Bortner out of the home and to the hospital, the complaint notes.
“The Victim’s wound and her living conditions were heartbreaking. Our office is thankful for all the hard work that Adams County Office for Aging and the Cumberland Township Police Department put into trying to help this Victim and all the work they put into this investigation. We will continue to build our case and gather everything we can to assist us in this prosecution for the Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person,” Miller said.