WARNING: The following story contains graphic details that may not be suitable for all readers
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Both her eyes were swollen and bruised.
So was the woman’s face, and her skin was pale.
When Fort Wayne firefighters and medics arrived at a near southwest side home to find her this past February, the woman – previously diagnosed with a mental disability and cerebral palsy – was unconscious and on the floor.
She was still breathing, but doctors at the time did not give her much of a chance to live.
Allen County prosecutors on Wednesday charged the woman’s caregiver with a felony count of neglect of a dependent in connection to the woman’s injuries, which included brain hemorrhages and were so severe she needed to be placed on a ventilator and life support.
Her caregiver, 76-year-old Judy A. Baughman, claimed in Allen Superior Court documents the woman suffered her injuries from falling multiple times over the course of a few days. Still, it took a behavioral consultant assigned to the woman to get medics involved, according to court documents.
Firefighters and medics were called to Baughman’s home, where the woman lived, on Feb. 15 after the behavior consultant went there and found her lying on the floor.
The behavior consultant would later tell detectives in court documents she became suspicious when Baughman told her the woman had become “out of control.” She told detectives Baughman also claimed the woman had been throwing herself on the floor.
She also told detectives Baughman said the woman first fell on Feb. 10 and had been falling ever since.
The behavior consultant asked to speak with the woman, who she had known for years. Baughman denied that request, according to court documents.
The consultant began to think the woman might be in trouble and went to the home to find her on the floor. The consultant knew the woman could use the bathroom on her own, but she was wearing an adult diaper, according to court documents.
She called 911.
The woman was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Lutheran Hospital where doctors told medics she was “not expected to live at the time,” according to court documents.
Fort Wayne police became involved in the case on Feb. 22.
By then, the woman had been taken off her ventilator but was still in the Intensive Care Unit. She still had bruises on her eyes, according to court documents, and told a detective Baughman was her mother.
The woman said she remembered falling, but did not remember the day. She also said she remembered falling “a lot,” according to court documents. She said at one point she fell outside in front of Baughman, but that Baughman laughed at her and did not help her up.
During an interview with a detective, Baughman claimed in court documents the woman had suffered “most” of her injuries from falling. She then admitted at one point the woman was on the ground and would not open her eyes or talk, but that she was breathing.
The detective pointed out in court documents the woman had to be placed on a ventilator and life support.
Baughman was booked into Allen County Lockup on Wednesday morning but soon released, according to jail records.
A court date for her initial hearing has yet to be scheduled.