105-Year-Old Rescued From Home Filled With Trash - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

105-Year-Old Rescued From Home Filled With Trash

KETTLE FALLS, Wash. – The Stevens County Sheriff's office rescued a 105-year-old woman from conditions they describe as deplorable and have since charged her caregiver with a felony count of criminal mistreatment.

78-year-old John Friedlund, who goes by the name Herb, bailed out of the Stevens County Jail and will be arraigned next Tuesday at 9 a.m. He could not be reached for comment on today.

Authorities say Friedlund was a family friend of 105-year-old Frances Swan and her late husband. Friedlund promised to take care of Mrs. Swan when her husband died, according to the Stevens County Sheriff's Office which found Swan confined to her bedroom with the rest of the house covered in feet of trash, newspapers and rotting food.

"To me she looked very pale and frail," said Sgt. Jim Caruso. "The very first thing she said was, ‘Please feed me.'"

Mrs. Swan was taken to the hospital where she was evaluated and later released to a nursing home. Friends who had not seen her in years say she is doing much better.

"I saw her last Wednesday in the nursing home," said Jane Theiss, a neighbor who met Mrs. Swan in 1978. "She's doing very well. She's very alert now and she's getting her meals regularly. I think she's doing well."

Multiple neighbors said they had tried repeatedly to visit Mrs. Swan but were turned away by Friedlund.

"I'd say 1999 was the last time I saw her," said Freddy Jenkins. "She used to be outside gardening all the time."

"I just know the conditions that Mrs. Swan was living in were deplorable," said Tim Rasmussen, Stevens County Prosecutor.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lech Radzimski will try the case for the prosecutor's office. He added a special circumstance to the criminal charge.

"Mrs. Swan was a vulnerable victim and her treatment was a violation of a position of trust," he said.

Mrs. Swan turns 106-years-old on Wednesday. Authorities are planning a small party for her at the nursing home.

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