MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Yolanda Thurman, a DHR employee, was arrested and charged by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said she is accused of elderly abuse and neglect.
Mobile County sheriff's investigators said Thurman had been taking care of her elderly brother since 2005. Authorities said the man, Byrd Bunkley Jr., 63, is mentally and physically disabled.
On Thursday May 16, investigators said Bunkley's niece went to Thurman's home to visit her uncle when she found him in ‘deplorable' conditions.
"He was extremely malnourished. He had severe bed sores, open type wounds. Obviously, he had not been cared for in quite some time. I would say he was literally on his deathbed," said Lt. Paul Burch with the MCSO.
Officials told FOX10 Bunkley's niece called EMS to assist the man, who was also covered in his own waste. Deputies, however, said Thurman refused to let medical personnel into the home, prompting them to contact law enforcement.
Investigators said Thurman fled the scene after authorities arrived at the home.
FOX10 has learned the 41-year old has worked for the Department of Human Resources for at least 10 years.
Neighbors, who did not want to be identified, said they suspected something was wrong but never thought it was this bad.
"The garage door was always up and he was always sitting in his chair in the corner; morning, noon, and night," said one neighbor. "He seemed to be unhappy and there's no movement whatsoever."
"It shocks me because you wouldn't know that was happen so close to you, so close to home," said another neighbor.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, May 21, Thurman was still in Mobile Metro Jail.
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