AR - Shirley Chittum, 71, dies of extreme neglect, Bentonville, 3 Dec 2005

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Casshew, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    Shirley Chittum died Saturday night, one day after she was rushed to a hospital and her son was arrested because authorities say he neglected her.

    The 71-year-old homebound woman was found early Friday on her sofa in a Bentonville apartment, withered to 62 pounds and covered with feces, urine, thousands of maggots and flies.

    Police and medical workers cried and vomited while trying to help the woman, and an emergency room doctor called her condition the worst case "of neglect he had ever seen," according to a probable-cause affidavit.

    Paul Arthur Chittum, 44, is being held in the Benton County Jail on a $100,000 bond. He is accused of felony neglect of an adult.

    An autopsy was performed Monday, and Prosecutor Robin Green said murder charges could be forthcoming depending on results of the autopsy and the Bentonville Police Department's ongoing investigation.

    According to court documents, Paul Chittum called an ambulance after midnight Friday because his mother refused to eat. Her speech was slurred and he was afraid she had a stroke, he later told police.

    When paramedics arrived they found the woman on a sofa, covered in blankets. When they began unwrapping her, hundreds of flies were released. They couldn't detach her from the sofa cushions, so they wrapped them up with her for transport.

    Wounds on her backside and legs were filled with maggots and were life-threatening, doctors said. Her condition Friday, while in intensive care, was called "grave."

    When Paul Chittum first sat down with police on Friday, he claimed he arrived just two weeks before from Missouri to help his mother. By the end of the interview, he admitted moving in one year ago.

    "I love my mom, I would never hurt her, I did what my mom wanted me to do," he said at first to an officer, through tears. But as Bentonville Police Officer Joseph Falcon challenged him, Paul Chittum admitted he hadn't changed her adult diaper in weeks, and that he'd seen maggots and flies on the couch and urine and feces seeping down from his mother onto the floor.

    His mother told him not to help her, he said. "I am responsible, totally responsible," he said, according to the affidavit. "I am going to speak flat with you, give me a gun so I can shoot myself ... I tried to tell her I would get into trouble over this, but she would not believe me."

    http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2005/12/06/front/01bzchittum.txt
     
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  3. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    That is heartbreaking. I do belive him, I had a neighbor once who fell and broke her leg, she made her adult son swear he wouldn't call for an ambulance. She was terrified of hospitals and doctors. He didn't and as a result she was bed ridden for years.
     
  4. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    How could he not clean her up? Why didn't DHS do something. What about the people from meals on wheels? This is disgraceful.
     
  5. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    Oh I agree. It's disgusting and horrible!

    There comes a time when a person needs to grow up and do the right thing, no matter what mommy says!
     
  6. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    Exactly. Sometimes you just have to take over, even if it is your own parent.
     
  7. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    but what a way to end your days, she was practically part of the sofa, they couldn't remove her from the cushions, to live in all that filth and degrading conditions not fit for animals.. animals live better than this poor lady did. She needed help and respect - she was not even that old, only 71.

    The whole thing makes me sick :furious: :mad:
     
  8. Alice253

    Alice253 Live Every Moment

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    I'm sorry, but there's just not an excuse for this. I took care of my Mom for a long time before she died. There were many, many times she did not want me to do something, and my answer was always the same, "Sorry, Mom, but this has to be done." Even if he didn't feel comfortable taking care of her himself, all he had to do was call for help. Most communities have resources for elderly homebound folks -- they help with baths, etc. There's just no excuse for this poor woman to be found in the shape she was in. I'm sorry to rant, but this just really gets to me. :(
     
  9. Cupcake

    Cupcake New Member

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    This is 20 minutes away from me.

    I felt physically sick when I heard about it.
     
  10. 2luvmy

    2luvmy RIP Ragdoll. You don't get to choose how you're go

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    This "man" is an idiot.

    My grandfather had Alzheimers and my mother and stepfather took care of him at their home. I came down to help out when time allowed.

    He crapped all over the furniture, walked around naked, they gave him baths, made sure he was fed and had clean clothes. Entertained him and put up with his delusions and loved him. He even tried to chase and bite my own children and I had to break that up.

    My mom cried everytime she bathed him or had to reprimand him for crossing the line. My mom and dad were so heart broken to see him needing that level of care. He fought her several times and each time she did what was necessary to ensure he was taken care of. When he became too combative and started doing things my folks could no longer handle, they sought outside care. It broke their hearts, but they knew they neded help.

    People who hurt kids and our elderly need to beaten about the head!
     
  11. jannuncutt

    jannuncutt jannuncutt

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    I just don't believe him.......unless he is retarded.
     
  12. PlasmaFiend024

    PlasmaFiend024 New Member

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    he should get the same thing done to him .his excuses are a huge steaming pile of bs..
     
  13. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    I'd like to know about the family's past. What society calls elder abuse in some cases might be considered in the adult child's view as payback.I suspect as the baby boomers get older we'll see more and more elder abuse cases in the news, simply because of the numbers involved.
     
  14. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    Nursing homes are going to be over flowing. It will be so easy for the grown adult kids to dump their parents in a home. But remember .....these will be many of the parents that dumped their own babies into daycare at 6 weeks of age and never looked back.
     
  15. GaGirl

    GaGirl Mommy of One

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    Linda,
    I am a daycare parent and do not feel that I am a bad parent as a result. This statement is offensive to me as not everyone in today's society can afford to have a parent in the home at all times. Not only that, some parents who could afford to stay home find their work rewarding. I have never known of a child in a quality daycare setting to be unstable. I have however known of children who are socially terrified when they go to kindergarten due to lack of socialization with other children. My son is in an excellent facility that focuses on academics as well as Christianity. He is more advanced socially and academically then several children we know. My son was never "dumped" into daycare, my husband and I did extensive research on facilities and checked state records on each place we considered. I do not criticize parents who choose to stay in the home and the same respect for working parents would be kindly appreciated. To express the thought that daycares are all bad places is in my opinion narrow minded. I don't believe my son feels neglected or unloved, in fact he adores his teacher and looks forward to seeing his friends each day. Sorry to ramble, this just really strikes a nerve with me.
     
  16. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    Daycare is a touchy issue, and not a new one. However, in the olden days beyond the 1950s (I'm talking before the WWII) most women didn't stay home with their children. They couldn't. They either took the kids out into the fields or factories with them, or placed them in creches--group daycare, often maintained by elderly women and young girls. Of course, this is where teh concept of swaddling infants comes from--wrapping them up tightly so they can't crawl into open fireplaces or machinery. The outlawing of child labor made childcare another problem for working women. So in reality the concept of the stay at home mother is comparatively new (less than 75 years) and largely dependent on social status/economics.
    That said, my mother worked as a professional daycare provider for several years, and will testify that there are two types of daycare parents: the ones that will pick their kids up on the dot, make sure the child arrives dressed properly & is clean and fed upon arrival, and those who will effectively drop their kid off at daycare in little more than t-shirt and a diaper, reeking of poop, and not pick them up until they're threatened with a call to social services for abandonment.
    The worst case scenario was when my mother changed a 2 year old's diaper and found bite marks on the child's buttocks and genitals that appeared to be from an adult or older child.
    Many of these children suffered attachment disorders and had to be taken out of daycare because they were acting out on the children around them. Stuff like this does not go away, although it is usually society in general, not the parents in particular, who suffer at the hands of these hapless kids once they reach adulthood.
     
  17. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    Oh I was making my post based on statistical evidence, not your feelings. You may not "feel" that you aren't a bad parent.........well, the truth is studies say otherwise. Daycare kids have a myriad of documented social problems proven by study after independant study.
    And whether or not your kid exhibits them NOW the truth is, he is at least exposed to other kids with them.
     
  18. CaliMom

    CaliMom New Member

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    I really can't believe this. Can you tell me where you get your information? My son is also in a top-rated daycare at my husband's place of employment and he loves it there. They do not just "babysit" him all day long. He learns and explores and enjoys going. This sounds like another "scare tactic" to me. Give me a break. You're telling me that my son will suffer the consequences of my choice when he gets older because he is exposed to other children with so-called "social problems"? That's life, I am exposed on a daily basis to people with "social problems".
     
  19. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    Here is just a few:
    Dr. Mark Genuis, executive director of the National Foundation of Family Research and Education, said:


    Research collected over the last 40 years on non-parental care demonstrates clearly that prior to five years of age, regular separation from parents results in an unmistakably negative effect on emotion and behavioural development in children, as well as a hindering effect on the security of the children's bonds to their parents. Further studies have linked children's insecure bonding with parents to clinical, emotional and behavioural difficulties, including youth crime.



    Dr. Genuis continued:



    The research demonstrates definite risks to the emotional health and behavioural adjustment of children when they are separated from their parents on a regular basis, most noticeably for periods of 20 or more hours per week. ...In fact, the results indicate a...negative effect (in cognitive skills) for those children raised in regular non-parental care of more than 20 hours per week. There is also no scientific support for the claim that high quality day care is an acceptable substitute for parental care




    Children in daycare from infancy are less compliant, more aggressive and more likely to have behavioural problems.

    *Belsky, J. new report 'Development Risk (Still) Associated with Early Childcare' 2001.

    New reports that show that more than just 10 hrs per week of non-maternal care in the 1st year of life could adversely affect mother-infant security.

    Also children in day-care from infancy are less compliant, more aggressive, less popular and more likely to have behavioural problems than peers whose mothers were at home.

    Children who had experienced frequent changes of care setting were significantly slower in both cognitive and linguistic development. In the published and unpublished part of the research, this was, again, present when the children were 6.

    Violata, C. & Russell, C., 'Effects of Non-maternal Care on Child Development: A Meta-analysis of Published Research.' Paper presented at 55th annual convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Penticton, British Columbia 1994.

    A large scale synthesis from 88 studies concluded that regular non-parental care for more than 20hours a week had an unmistakably negative effect on socio-emotional development, behaviour and attachment of young children.

    They also estimated that regular non-parental care increased the risk of children developing insecure bonds by 66%. They noted that if this increase were related to disease due to environmental factors, it would be considered extremely serious and result in public health initiatives.

    Egeland, B. & Hiester, M., 'The Long-Term Consequences of Infant Daycare and Mother/Infant Attachments,' Child Development, Vol.66, 1995,pp.474-85.

    The securely attached infants who had attended daycare before 12 months were more negative and poorly adjusted compared to those who had remained at home

    Undesirable effects of early childcare don't go away.

    Report to the government of Ontario Reversing the Real Brain Drain: The Early Years Study April 1999.

    New findings from studies of the Early Child Care Research Network of the US National Institute of Child Health confirm the undesirable socio-emotional effects in children of non-maternal care, with poorer mother-child relationships and increased aggressiveness and disobedience at age 6 both at school and at home.


    bonding, a strong emotional attachment that forms between a child and parent, is disrupted when mothers and fathers rely on others to be substitute parents. Children who are securely bonded to parents are more confident in their explorations of their environment and have a higher sense of self-esteem than children who are insecurely bonded to their parents. Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School, who has authored several books including the recent book, The Irreducible Needs of Children says, “A warm, loving human relationship is very important for intellectual development. Children form their capacity to think and self-image based on these back-and-forth interactions. Fewer of these are happening, because families are so busy and more care is being done outside the home. Studies [show] that for all ages, 85 percent of day care is not high quality” (Kelly, 2000, p. 65).
     
  20. CaliMom

    CaliMom New Member

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    You know, there will always be reports that have differing opinions on this type of debate and I choose to believe that my son is having a good experience. We pay a ton of money each month for a low child to teacher ratio school and I strongly believe he is benefitting from it. He is super smart and extremely happy, otherwise he wouldn't be there. There will be people that disagree with me and people who agree. Again, such is life.
     
  21. SadieMae

    SadieMae Former Member

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    SNIPPED:
    Both my children were in daycare 40+ hrs/week at age 6mos and 20mos until they started school, then after school daycare until I picked them up. My youngest has always been in the talented and gifted program. They show NONE of the negative effects mentioned. They were honor students, well liked by all their teachers for their good manners and politeness, have a ton of friends and not agressive or have criminal problems. From the time they were toddlers they would kiss me goodmorning and goodnight right through to now at ages 20 & 18. They always tell me EVERYTHING going on in their lives. We have been very close to each other, and rarely do I have any conflicts with them. What I didn't have in quantity of time I made up for by the quality of time I spent with them growing up. So his study makes me wonder, what studies did they do on the PARENTS??? My kids have always been well cared for children, even by their daycare providers. I was a single mother so I had to work.
    ETA: I've come across kids who had a stay at home mom, and they were absolutely horrid children.
     

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