August 6, 2010 (El Cajon) – Emergency room physicians described the condition of Jeremy Marlow, 28, as the worst case of neglect that they had ever seen. Paramedics brought Marlow, who lived on Graves Avenue in El Cajon, to Grossmont Hospital on January 21. He was unconscious, suffering from infections, covered in open pressure wounds, and weighed less than 100 pounds, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He died five days later of pneumonia.
Last night his mother, Deborah Marlow, 58, and his brother, Christopher Marlow, 26, were arrested. Both are charged with elder abuse, a crime that can be filed against caregivers for abusing a person of any age.
Marlow was severally mentally impaired, suffered from Cerebral Palsy, and had limited mobility. He was completely dependent upon his mother and brother for his care. Although the family members received nearly $5,000 a month in state and federal funds for his care, officials say there was no evidence that the money was spent on him.
Doctors said he was brought to the hospital too late to them to be saved. A criminal investigation revealed that Jeremy was neglected by his family and had not been to a doctor in over a year. After his death, the family fled to Georgia, abandoning their apartment and leaving a cat unattended for over two weeks. The starving cat was euthanized due to aggression.
Elder Abuse Detective Bridget Cartier found the living conditions at the apartment unfit for human habitation. The residence was filthy, cluttered and smelled of cigarette smoke, urine, feces, decaying food and garbage, according to a release issued by the SHeriff. Jeremy' Marlow’s bed was foul, covered with feces, urine and a black mold. No bed sheets were on the bed or in the room. His wheelchair was covered with the same materials and hair from the cat.
"They didn't even have the decency to go to the coroner's office and arrange for a funeral," Sergeant Mark Varnau told Channel 8 news, adding that Jeremy Marlow was buried "essentially in a pauper's grave."
After an extensive investigation, Detective Cartier presented a criminal case to the District Attorney's Office in El Cajon. An arrest warrant was issued for Deborah and Christopher Marlow, charging charging Elder Abuse. Bail on the warrant was set at $50,000 each.
Detective Cartier made contact with Georgia authorities and others to arrange for the Marlows to be flown back to San Diego to face a judge. They arrived last night and were immediately taken into custody by the Sheriff's Fugitive Task Force for the issued warrants. Both will be arraigned early next week.