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.