Public Safety

Caretaker charged after 80-year-old mother's 2018 death, caused by infection, complaint shows

Daughter faces charge after mother brought to hospital with open wounds, dies

MARION — A 41-year-old woman is charged with abuse after her 80-year-old mother died after being admitted to a hospital with open wounds in 2018.

According to the criminal complaint, Claudia Feuss was unresponsive when she was admitted to UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Hospital with an open pressure wound on her back.

Feuss died a day after she was admitted to the hospital, likely due to sepsis, according to the complaint. An online obituary shows Feuss died Nov. 27, 2018.

The woman’s daughter, Heather N. Bobst of Marion, “was a paid provider to furnish complete physical care to the victim that included nourishment, bathing and changing her clothes,” according to the complaint.

Medical professionals reported finding pressure sores on Feuss’ back and legs and noted she appeared to be malnourished. Fecal matter was also found on her body, the complaint states.

The wound on her back was 8 inches long and 2.5 inches deep — so deep it “penetrated all the way to her bone,” the complaint said.

The complaint does not offer details as to how long Feuss was under Bobst’s care, when she was admitted to the hospital or when she died, but it states that “on or about November 26, 2018 … (Bobst did) intentionally commit dependent elder abuse on Claudia Feuss, resulting in serious injury,” at a residence in the 400 block of Erin Drive in Marion.

The Gazette has reached out to the Marion Police Department for more details.

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An investigation conducted by Marion police and the Iowa Department of Human Services also revealed the residence where Bobst “provided care for the victim” was found to be in “abysmal condition with animal urine and feces and cockroaches throughout.”

Bobst faces a charge of dependent adult abuse — intentional act resulting in serious injury.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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