A Dominican resident in the US, Montgomery Winston, has been arrested in Florida and faces charges of the manslaughter of his disabled wife.
Winston, 68, his 39 year old daughter, Belinda and 43-year-old daughter, Hyacinth, were arrested on Wednesday. The three are being held in Hillsborough County Jail with no bond set.
According to the Tampa Tribune, all three, plus another son, 48 year old Ignatius, for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, are accused in what authorities are calling one of the worst cases of elderly neglect ever reported in the Tampa area.
Winston’s wife, Mary, had been bedridden for three years with rheumatoid arthritis, but her husband and adult children neglected to take care of her, detectives said. The neglect was so bad, investigators said, that when 66-year-old Mary Hildreth Winston eventually died on October 25, 2012, her death was ruled a homicide.
She had developed ulcers on her body and a bedsore on her back so severe that it became an open wound, exposing her rib bones to open air, according a Hillsborough County sheriff’s spokesman.
He said bandages had been placed on the sores, but they weren’t changed regularly and fused to her wounds and by the time she died, the skin on her legs had fused together and the room smelled of decomposition, feces and urine. “Maggots became active on and inside her body,” he said.
Mary Winston died Oct. 25 from septic sequelae, a complication brought on by her arthritis, according to an arrest report.
She was last seen alive four days earlier by her son, who, according to the report, admitted to detectives on the day his mother died, that she needed medical attention.
The sheriff’s office said it took the state attorney’s office eight months to file charges against the Winstons because the agency was reviewing all the evidence in the case.
“You don’t want to rush to judgement and an arrest until all the evidence has been collected,” the sheriff’s spokesman stated. “We had to wait for the toxicology report and the autopsy report.”
Montgomery ‘Monty’ Winston is originally from Loubiere. His deceased wife, Hildreth, who served as a nurse in Dominica before migrating to the US, is from Roseau.