A 74-year-old bedridden woman who was found dead last weekend was “basically tortured and neglected to death” by her adult son, according to a Texas sheriff.
The death of Maria Huerta led to charges against 50-year-old Juan Santos Huerta, who was being paid by the state to care for her, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a news briefing Wednesday. Instead of caring for his mother, Huerta was working as a long-haul truck driver, Salazar said.
“This case is bar none the worst case of neglect of an elderly person I’ve ever seen,” Salazar said.
The woman was found dead at a home Saturday near Elmendorf by Sandy Oaks police, and Bexar County deputies were called to help in the investigation, according to the sheriff. Salazar said the woman’s injuries were too graphic to describe.
Maria Huerta had several bed sores, parts of her body had exposed bone from flesh that rotted away, and her body was infested by maggots, according to the sheriff.
Salazar said it’s likely the mother was living with some wounds for months or years and had not been treated by a doctor “in some time.”
“I can’t even image the pain and torture that this elderly lady went through,” the sheriff said. “When you factor in that it was at the hands of her son, it makes it that much more heartbreaking.”
Juan Santos Huerta was in charge of his mother’s care, but Salazar said he admitted to working 12-hour days on the road as a trucker.
As a result, according to Salazar, the son left his mother “by herself until she finally succumbed to her ever-worsening wounds and ended up dying as a result of the deplorable condition she was allowed to deteriorate to.”
He faces a third-degree felony charge of injury to an elderly person resulting in bodily injury and was arrested Wednesday.
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