Pennsylvania woman kept sister in cage, authorities say


VESTABURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A western Pennsylvania woman is charged with neglect and false imprisonment after authorities say she kept her sister in a wooden cage with only a dirty mattress and little-to-no medical care.

Leona Biser, 51, of Vestaburg, kept her 53-year-old care-dependent sister in the manmade cell that sat in her living room, the state attorney general’s office said.

Agents discovered the woman and had her transported to a hospital for treatment of a urinary tract infection and rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle that can be caused by infection.

Authorities said the woman’s condition has improved since her hospital stay. They said she has regained some mobility and is working with a speech therapist.

“This defendant professed to be caring for her sister when, in fact, the home was in deplorable condition, had no running water, and the victim was not getting her prescribed medicines,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “Our agents have made sure the victim has received needed care and will no longer have to suffer daily living in a cage.”

Biser is charged with neglect of a care-dependent person, abuse of a care-dependent person, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, and false imprisonment.

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