Down Syndrome man, 32, so badly neglected by family he weighed just 69lbs when he died and had open sores down to the bone



Reposted from a story By Associated Press Reporter PUBLISHED: 13:32 EST, 20 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:32 EST, 20 June 2013

A 32-year-old man with Down syndrome was so severely neglected by his family that his body was covered in scabies and he weighed just 69 pounds when he died, it emerged today.

Robert Gensiak had open sores down to the bone at the time of his death on March 20. He was taken to the hospital a day earlier because he was only semi-responsive and couldn’t stand up.

Susan Gensiak, 59, of Taylor in northeastern Pennsylvania, and her daughters, Joan, 35, and Rebekah, 24, were charged on Wednesday with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and neglect of care for a dependent person.

Mother arrested: Susan Gensiak, 59, of Taylor, Pennsylvania, has been charged with starving her 32-year-old son, who had Down syndrome, to death

Sister: Rebekah Gensiak was also arrested in connection with her brother’s death

All three were sent to Lackawanna Prison, with bail set at $350,000 for Susan Gensiak and $250,000 for her daughters.

Investigators said the suspects told police they were concerned about losing Gensiak’s government assistance if they had placed him in a personal care facility, and his mother asked them if she would still receive her son’s Social Security check even after his death.

His mother and sisters had little to say at their arraignments or outside court. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they had attorneys, and a phone listing was unavailable.

Autopsy photos showed Robert Gensiak’s skin was yellow and laced with scabies — a contagious skin infection caused by mites — with open sores all over his body that were so extreme in spots that bone was visible.

His few remaining teeth were about to fall out, his head was covered in lice, and there was no food or significant fluid in his stomach, according to an autopsy.

‘Robert’s entire body was covered in a thick yellow scab-like rash’ that ‘appeared to have cracked in various places, leaving open sores, which had been bleeding and oozing fluid’, said an affidavit of probable cause.

Home: Prosecutors believe he may have spent the last few months of his life confined to a chair in a closed off room
Home: Prosecutors believe he may have spent the last few months of his life confined to a chair in a closed off room

The cause of death was sepsis due to the breakdown of his skin, with malnutrition contributing, according to Dr. Gary Ross, who performed the autopsy.

Lackawanna County Coroner Tim Rowland ruled the manner of death as homicide due to neglect.

According to court documents, the suspects told authorities that Gensiak had psoriasis, but denied he had any other medical problems and said they were treating his skin condition with over-the-counter creams.

They said they could not get him to a doctor because they had no means of transportation.

They eventually called a doctor, who urged them to call an ambulance, according to court documents.

Neighbors said they didn’t even know Robert lived at the home with his mother and sisters.

Prosecutors believe he may have spent the last few months of his life confined to a chair in a closed off room.

‘To do something like that to something you gave birth to, that’s awful. I don’t know how anyone would do that. I hope they get the death sentence. That’s just terrible,’ neighbor Donna Steele told WNEP.

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Author: disabledaccessdenied

I am a disabled woman who through no fault of my own has wheels under my ass. I rely on the decency and common sense of local, state and federal goverments, as well as the retail community to abide by the disabled access laws and provide adequate ramps, disabled toilets, and not use them as store rooms or broom closets. This blog exists to find the offenders and out them, inform them, and report them if necessary and shame them into doing the right thing when all else fails.

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