A Starkville woman arrested earlier this week on abuse and neglect charges allegedly allowed a toddler and an elderly woman, both relatives, to lay in their own excrement possibly for hours, according to testimony in a Starkville Municipal Court hearing on Wednesday.
The hearing was for the contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a child; felonious abuse and/or battery of a child and abuse of a vulnerable adult charges against 26-year-old April Triplett. Police arrested Triplett on Monday, and she had her initial court appearance Wednesday.
Starkville Police Department Detective John Michael Lay said the department received a call to a home on Washington Street on Monday. When they arrived, they found a door partially cracked open. Upon entering the home, officers saw a child in a car seat and an elderly woman lying on a mattress on the floor. At the time, officers did not make an arrest.
Later that afternoon, SPD received a call to the same home stating that the elderly woman was paralyzed. Lay said officers arrived to find the child was still in the car seat and the elderly woman was paralyzed on her left side.
He said both victims were “covered in urine and feces” and wearing diapers. During his testimony, he confirmed both victims were related to Triplett.
Both victims were sent to OCH Regional Medical Center, where the child was treated and released. The elderly woman stayed overnight at the hospital, and was released to a nursing home on Tuesday, Lay said, because she couldn’t care for herself.
Lay said it appeared the elderly woman had not been given her medications, and may not have been given them for “months.”
An affidavit for Triplett’s arrest said the child was strapped into the car seat for “approximately five hours.”
Municipal Court Judge Rodney Faver set Triplett’s bond at $12,000 during Wednesday’s hearing. She was still in the Oktibbeha County Jail as of Thursday morning, according to jail personnel.
Triplett’s next court appearance is set for March 26.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.