2018-05-16 / Front Page

Caretaker arrested for elder neglect and abuse

ANGELA SAXON
True Citizen Intern


Sheppard's Personal Care Home on Emma Lane, just off Thompson Bridge Road. Officers from several agencies raided the operation over the weekend and arrested the operator, Elizabeth Sheppard. Sheppard's Personal Care Home on Emma Lane, just off Thompson Bridge Road. Officers from several agencies raided the operation over the weekend and arrested the operator, Elizabeth Sheppard. A personal care home operator in Waynesboro has been arrested and charged with elder abuse, exploitation and neglect of elderly persons.

Following reports of neglect from Lt. Ben Hartman of the Burke County Sheriff's Office, Investigator William Loomer of the District Attorney's office, along with Burke County deputies and agents from the Augusta Judicial Circuit CAVE (Crimes against the Vulnerable and Elderly) arrested home operator Elizabeth Sheppard.

Sheppard is being charged with exploitation of a disabled adult, neglect of a disabled adult, with more charges to be added according the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

In the report, Loomer alleges that a number of registered sex offenders were living at the site. He added that Sheppard initially attempted to conceal the presence of two men in a small, dilapidated camper behind her home. The report says Sheppard "lied because she knew they weren't supposed to be there."

He described the camper as "filthy, the toilet did not flush properly, and the sewage was backing up in the bathroom sink." The two men were said to have shared a bedroom, with the beds less than a foot apart. Investigator Loomer also mentioned that the AC unit and plumbing were broken, and the roof leaked. One of the men was described as a "paranoid schizophrenic with diminished mental capacity who needs 24 hour care and supervision."

The two men were reportedly paying Sheppard approximately $2,000 per month to stay in the deplorable conditions.

According to Sheppard both men were receiving monthly checks from the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) during the time they were staying in the camper.

Reports showed that one, who was suffering from partial blindness, was receiving a monthly check for more than $1,000 a month but was only given an allowance of $170 a month by Sheppard.

Sheppard’s son, Damien Sheppard, told The True Citizen that all the charges against his mother are wrong. "She has been inspected by the state on a regular basis and has been approved to operate." He said he wants the community to know that she is no monster and that the all the charges filed against her are false.

Burke County Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard said he was grateful for outside law enforcement to get involved, “I appreciate

CAVE members working the case alongside the BCSO which included the District Attorney's Office, the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and Richmond County Marshal's Office. I also want to extend my gratitude to the Department of Community Supervision (Probation) who also assisted.”

Anyone with information regarding the mistreatment at Elizabeth Sheppard’s facility or any facilities mistreating elderly persons, please contact the BCSO Criminal Investigative Division at 706-554-2133 or CAVE directly at 706-821- 1150.

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