East TN woman trapped 3 years in home full of garbage, feces - WFLA News Channel 8

East TN woman trapped 3 years in home full of garbage, feces

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The victim's mother, Gail Gann (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) The victim's mother, Gail Gann (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)
The victim told detectives she had been living in piles of garbage and her own feces for about three years. (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) The victim told detectives she had been living in piles of garbage and her own feces for about three years. (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)
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NEWPORT, TN  - A bedridden woman was rescued this week from her home in east Tennessee after she was found living amongst piles of garbage and her own feces.

The 48-year-old victim told detectives she'd been living in the conditions for about three years.  The home had no usable restroom, and in three years, she'd never been taken out of the house on Old Sevierville Highway in Newport, about 50 miles east of Knoxville.

An anonymous tip led detectives to the house, where they say the front door was barricaded by a whole lot of nastiness.

"I'm quite amazed she's still alive," Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes told sister station WATE-TV in Knoxville.

He continued, "The place was extremely filthy. [It] had roaches and spiders.  There were several used diapers in there, several articles of filthy, nasty clothing, several pieces of leftover food, leftover trash, anything that an individual would throw into a trash would be found in this residence."

Eventually, the fire department cut a 4x8 foot hole in the wall of the house to pull out the victim.

Her mother, Gail Gann, has been charged with physical abuse, or gross negligence of an impaired adult.

Detectives say Gann lived in a different home.

"She was going in and giving her food supplies, and that's about it.  There's not a restroom there that she could use so she was using the restroom in the place she was in," Sheriff Fontes said.

Neighbors say they were unaware of the magnitude of what was going on in the house.

"Well [there are] things happening all around us we know nothing about," neighbor Donald Rector told WATE-TV.

How the woman survived the filth amazes everyone.

"It's a very cruel and sickening situation," Sheriff Fontes said.

Investigators say their sense is the mother had some mental health issues.

The victim is being taken care of by Adult Protective Services now.  They'll help treat her for things like bed sores, and will help her find a place to live.

 

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