Couple jailed for alleged neglect of 88-year-old - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Couple jailed for alleged neglect of elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer's Disease

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Holly Smith Holly Smith
Michael Smith Michael Smith
Tina Ratliff Tina Ratliff
CABELL COUNTY, Wv. -

A pretty white house on East Gate Road outside of Barboursville, WV was the site of drug activity, according to police.

What's worse, police say, is that an 88-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, lived among two apparent drug addicts who hosted a constant stream of visitors.

Acting upon numerous complaints, West Virginia State Police went to the home on Friday evening to find the 88-year-old woman, along with her granddaughter, Holly Smith, her granddaughter's husband, Michael Smith, and another woman named Tina Ratliff.

Police also found drugs.

They arrested the couple and their visitor.

13 News visited the home on Saturday afternoon.

"I was very shocked at what was found in this home.," says Peggy Peters, the daughter of the victim, and the mother of suspect, Holly Smith.

Ms. Peters says her daughter, Holly Smith was good to her grandmother, and so was Michael, during the four years they lived with the victim.

"She has been fed, and cleaned," says Ms. Peters. "She's been in no danger at all."

"They never were mean to me," says the victim, who admits she is unsure of what exactly happened on Friday. "They always treated me pretty good."

Along with crack-cocaine, police found drug paraphernalia.

The couple is charged with drug possession and neglect of an incapacitated person, a misdemeanor offense.

Police say the couple is facing this unique charge, not because of any direct abuse or neglect, but because of the setting, and the potential that the elderly homeowner could have been hurt.

Police say the constant come-and-go of people that may have been buying or selling drugs put the victim in danger.

Ms. Peters says she knew her daughter and her husband had a problem before.

"I was under the impression it had been taken care of," says Peters. "Because my mother and I financially helped take care of this problem, we thought."

All three suspects are facing possession charges for the crack-cocaine that was found.

Michael and Holly Smith are also facing the neglect charge.

All three were arraigned on a $10,000 cash-only bond, and are being held in the Western Regional Jail.