75-year-old multimillionaire nearly dies of neglect, conservator says

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

75-Year-Old Multimillionaire Nearly Dies Of Neglect

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Police are investigating a case of elder abuse in which officers suspect the victim's caretakers stole her money to pay for college tuition.

Patricia Neville, 75, lives in Jonesboro, Georgia. When police found her in her home last October, she had life-threatening wounds too graphic to describe.

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Police arrested three people who had been hired to take care of her, but instead, may have neglected her.

"She was near death. She was near death," conservator Elizabeth Williams Winfield said.

Winfield said when she was appointed by the courts last November to be the conservator of Neville's estate, Neville was in poor health.

"She was extremely underweight," Winfield said. "Dehydrated. She had several open wounds."

Police said Neville was paying Jennifer Lassen, Shelley Lovegrove and Alexis Messenger $1,000 a week to take care of her, her disabled daughter and her business, Atlanta Trucking Parts.

Officers arrested the trio after a relative became concerned about Neville's health.

Clayton County police said the wounds were so severe Neville had to have surgery. She's still in the hospital.

"Ms. Lassen, you're charged with neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult," Judge George said in court Monday. "The victim did sustain injuries caused by a lack of proper care."

Winfield said the trio didn't just hurt Neville physically. She alleged they opened credit cards in Neville's name and one of them paid her Georgia State College tuition using Neville's money.

"So you have greed," she said said. "You have people who are, who really are just out for themselves."

"In my opinion (they were) waiting for her to die," Winfield said.

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