Woman, 81, found in filth with broken hip; son arrested

Her legs were bound, her clothing was soiled and she was suffering from numerous health problems.

EVERETT — An Everett-area man is under investigation for elder abuse after his mother was found lying in filth with a broken hip and her legs tied together.

Kenneth William Strandt, 53, was arrested Friday after an aid call to the home he shares with his mother. He reported that the 81-year-old woman was sick and needed help, according to a police report filed in Everett District Court.

In addition to the hip fracture and bound legs, the woman had bed sores and was wearing clothing that was soiled with feces and urine, Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Kendra Conley said in a probable cause statement filed with the court.

There “was a horrible stench about the residence,” she wrote. “It was heavily cluttered and there was human feces and urine on the floor” in the room where the woman was found.

Strandt’s mother had numerous health problems, including skin ulcers, sepsis and circulatory issues from having her legs tightly bound, the police report said. She also was reported to previously have been hospitalized after exhibiting signs of dementia.

At the hospital last week, the woman shrieked in pain as staff attempted to clean her. She reportedly had deep wounds on her legs, which the detective believed were caused by the knots.

Conley wrote that she witnessed “one of the most horrific skin conditions that I have seen in my 15-plus year law enforcement career.”

Strandt reportedly told detectives that he works three fast food jobs, is tired all the time and struggles to provide care for his mother. He said she injured herself recently in a fall.

A check of the refrigerator found only mayonnaise and pop, Conley wrote. Strandt reportedly told detectives that he had been feeding his mother peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and noodles. He reportedly said she hadn’t eaten a real meal in about two weeks.

Strandt reportedly told detectives he had no idea how his mother’s legs came to be tied together, but said “if he did it, he bound her legs together and tied the knots in his sleep,” Conley wrote. He then suggested that a dead relative might have been responsible, or that he tied the knots at her direction to keep a sweater in place so her legs would stay warm, she wrote.

A judge over the weekend found probable cause to jail Strandt for investigation of unlawful imprisonment and criminal mistreatment of a dependent. Bail was set at $150,000.

That’s excessive given that Strandt has no serious criminal history, public defender Pooja Vaddadi said during a brief court hearing Monday.

Deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn argued that bail should be maintained. He said Strandt is accused of “abhorrent” conduct, and allegedly had left his mother for days at a time without care or food.

A judge pro tempore ruled that $150,000 was appropriate. She also signed a court order barring Strandt from having contact with his mother.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@herald net.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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