Elder abuse: The approaching tsunami

Many of San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood’s victims are unable to articulate their cases in front of a judge and jury. This would be a problem for a lot of prosecutors, but it doesn’t faze Greenwood. In fact, he encourages...

In a small, rural town, a woman in her 90s was found in bed, covered with open sores. Maggots had hatched in her wounds. She was filthy, undernourished and had not received her medication in months. Her caretaker was her son, a man in his 50s, who lived in her home and cashed her Social Security checks. When the woman was discovered, neighbors expressed amazement: They had not seen her in months, but thought she was simply too ill to be ambulatory.

Unfortunately, this scenario is common and, if predictions hold, incidents like this one will be something police will confront more and more often. Instead of beefing up the numbers of investigators handling these cases, it will be imperative for agencies to find smarter and more efficient ways to investigate.


A 12-year veteran of police work, Carole Moore has served in patrol, forensics, crime prevention and criminal investigations, and has extensive training in many law enforcement disciplines. Email her at carolemoore_biz@yahoo.com.

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