In a plot that no one should ever have to try to digest in real life, 44-year-old Candy Lawson faces felony charges including vulnerable adult abuse, false imprisonment and embezzlement. Candy Lawson had custody of her cognitively and physically disabled sister, a deaf/mute woman, who was living in hell according to ABC12.com:
A Corunna woman faces felony charges after police found her sister locked away in a closet.
Investigators say the abuse may have gone on for years. Police say the abused woman looked like a Holocaust survivor when they found her.
Forty-four-year-old Candy Lawson has been arrested and charged with vulnerable adult abuse, embezzlement and false imprisonment.
Corunna police freed the 42-year-old victim, who they say has cognitive and physical impairments, from a closet in a house on July 9 after a tip from handyman working there.
The first officer to arrive was shocked by what he saw.
“He was led in and found her locked in the closet. The closet was locked from the outside,” said Nick Chiros, Corunna police chief.
The closet where the victim was found was seven feet long and four feet wide. She weighed just 74 pounds and was suffering from severe dehydration.
74 lbs, at 42 years of age, unable to call for help… and kept in conditions one would not keep an animal in. Though unable to speak or hear, the victim is able to write – something she used to ask for food constantly in the hospital.
Custody of the vulnerable adult was given to Candy after her parents, who had adopted several special needs children, had passed away. The sisters are from Kentucky, where Candy owned a tattoo shop and had several Domestic Violence complaints against her that had nothing to do with her younger sister but are a nasty omen when you look back.
After moving to Michigan last year Candy was turned in to police for the horrifying abuse by a Handyman working on the premises.
The stench of the 5 gallon bucket that was the victims only toileting facility was overwhelming, according to police who arrived on the scene. A small amount of conjecture tells us that the embezzlement charges are most likely due to the victims Social Security (SSDI) checks being cashed and spent on Candy, the “caretaker,” instead of the care of the vulnerable adult they were meant to support. This kind of extended abuse and lack of humanity is the reason that we have family services and other government agencies, why has no one noticed this abuse?
Is there no law that says that to continue receiving SSDI checks one must prove they are actually caring for the person that they are receiving checks for? Yearly checkups? Expense records? Anything? There is for children receiving SSDI, you have to show where that money is going, and that those expenses are directly for the care of the child. Why is it that this abuse continued for years and not one person laid eyes on this woman to see that she was actually being cared for.
She could have been dead, for all anyone knew. Well, there is only one source of federal funding that supports programs to protect and care for vulnerable adults, according to the National Adult Protective Services Organization:
The Social Services Block Grant, created under President Reagan, funds states to provide social services to their residents. Each state decides how its block grant will be allocated. Thirty-seven states use part of their SSBG funds to support Adult Protective Services. While this is currently the only federal money supporting Adult Protective Services, the decisions to use it for this purpose are made at the state level. For more information, see this report from the Office of Community Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The sister is recovering, safe and in a protective custody for vulnerable adults where she doesn’t have to beg for food or water. The fact is that something like this should never have been able to happen in the first place.
Candy has been arrested and charged with embezzlement, false imprisonment, and abuse of a vulnerable adult. Wait, that is it? Torture, inhumane treatment, neglect, and attempted murder all spring to mind.
What really makes me sick? Ms. Candy Lawson posted bond and is awaiting her day in court, free to roam a world she locked her sister away from.
I hope they throw away the key, but chances are, the penalty for stealing from the government is more than the penalty for having a mini-Auschwitz in your home.
Featured image via screen capture