87-Year-Old Woman, Suspected Victim of Abuse, Dies

January 6, 2017 Updated: January 6, 2017

An 87-year-old southeast Missouri woman is dead, and her daughter may face manslaughter charges.

The Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic reports that Theresa Smothers died Saturday, two days after police say they found her malnourished and living in deplorable conditions at her daughter’s Poplar Bluff home.

An autopsy is planned.

The 65-year-old daughter was arrested Thursday but later released. Authorities say that in addition to elder abuse, she is expected to be charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Formal charges had not been filed by Tuesday morning, according to Missouri’s online court reporting system.

Theresa Smothers weighed just 71 pounds when she was removed from her daughter’s home.

Police say she was suffering from extreme malnutrition and dehydration, and had open bed sores.

Local media reports identified her daughter as Judy Smothers. She attempted to explain to police why she didn’t take care of her mother.

“I would have taken better care of my mother, but I was just too tired,” she said, as quoted by the Independent Journal Review.

“I don’t think that she really wanted to make the effort to take care of her mother. She just looked at her as a means to get a check,” Lt. Andrew Cleveland explained.

Epoch Times contributed to this report.