Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Daughter Accused of Imprisoning Parents; Son Roughs up Mom, 90

Makeshift restraint system for elderly mother

Makeshift restraint system for elderly mother.

In our latest installment of How Not to Treat Your Parents, we bring you the story of an unidentified Redmond, Washington, woman who was the caretaker for her demented elderly parents. She came to the attention of police after they received a complaint about her in 2011.

On investigation police found that the woman, 65, was restraining her mother in a chair for up to 12 hours each day, and was locking her in the “crib-like” bed shown here. Redmond Police Officer Mike Dowd described the device, “It was kind of a modified, small little jail system for her. She’s not able to get out and the only way she’s able to get out is if somebody from the outside lets her out.” The parents have since been placed in a nursing home.

While it’s true that elderly dementia patients can wander off, this daughter’s “care” also had a financial angle. Not only was she using her caregiver status to imprison her parents, she is also accused of using her power of attorney to take $3,000 out of her parents’ accounts each month, and spending it on herself. The woman was arrested on April 16, 2013, and released. No official charges have been filed at this time.

On April 11, 2013, Minnesota man Gregory Wucherpfennig, 56, was arrested after he allegedly yelled at his mother, 90, slapped her, shoved her and pulled her hair when she refused to give him her house. When police arrived the victim told them that this was not the first time her son had assaulted her, and that when they argued about the house the day before he had also attacked her dog, hurting it. Wucherpfennig denied any wrongdoing, adding that the dog is just having growing pains. A witness confirmed the mother’s version of events.

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