[nfbwatlk] FW: [Wcb-l] FW: KING-5 4-16-14 Blind teen with cerebral palsy found living in filth; caregivers charged

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Mon Apr 21 20:05:31 UTC 2014

From: Wcb-l [mailto:wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org] On Behalf Of Sue Ammeter
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 9:33 AM
To: wcb-l at wcbinfo.org
Subject: [Wcb-l] FW: KING-5 4-16-14 Blind teen with cerebral palsy found
living in filth; caregivers charged


                This is truly appalling:


From: Olson, Toby (ESD) [mailto:TOlson2 at ESD.WA.GOV] 
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 8:46 AM
Subject: FW: KING-5 4-16-14 Blind teen with cerebral palsy found living in
filth; caregivers charged


Blind teen with cerebral palsy found living in filth; caregivers charged 

by KING 5 News
April 16, 2014 

A 19-year-old woman, blind and with cerebral palsy, was found nearly naked
and surrounded by filth in her North Bend home and her caregivers have been
charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment and Medicaid fraud.

Heather Curtis was 7 when she was orphaned and left in the care of April and
Jeffrey Henderson, neither of whom are related to the woman. According to
court documents, April Henderson was the young woman's full-time caretaker
and Jeffrey Henderson is her legal guardian.

Documents say the Hendersons were unemployed and supported themselves and
their four children on the $4,000 per month they received in government
benefits to care for Curtis.

In 2012, King County detectives conducted a welfare check at the Henderson
home in North Bend.

Detective Belinda Paredes-Garrett said in court documents that investigators
were "taken aback" by the conditions in Curtis' room.

"Heather lived in the worse (sic) conditions I have experienced in 16 years
of law enforcement," Paredes-Garrett said. "Her room was covered in feces,
vomit, and debris. Her wheelchair was covered in filth and had an
overwhelming odor of feces and urine."

Curtis was lying on the lower bunk of a bunk bed, naked except for a soiled

"Heather was flailing and moaning, crying, the only way to describe her
moaning was that of a wounded animal," Paredes-Garrett said. "She was
severely thin, skeletal like."

April Henderson was "aggressive," and tried to interfere with investigators'
inspection, Paredes-Garrett said.

April told Paredes-Garrett that investigators caught them on a "bad day."
Jeff said it was a "bad week," but admitted they had "screwed up" in caring
for Curtis.

April told investigators she had thought caring for Curtis would become
easier as she got older but instead it had become more difficult.

Paredes-Garrett noted that while in the Hendersons' home she saw two
flat-screen TVs, laptops, an iPad and iPhone, as well as many video
components and games.

"Jeffrey also has an extensive collection of reptiles," she said. "He claims
he is a collector only, but was not able to explain how he was able to
afford such a collection."

Heather Curtis was immediately removed from the Henderson's home and taken
to Seattle Children's Hospital for emergency care. She weighed 67 pounds and
Her teeth were in such bad shape she had 19 root canals and four

Doctors said she would have been suffering with extreme pain for years. A
nurse who took over guardianship of Curtis said the teen would have died if
she had remained in the home and continued to be neglected.

The Hendersons later agreed that Curtis should be placed in a care facility.

Documents say Curtis continues to improve and has gained 30 pounds. She
attends school and responds to her caregiver.

Documents say after Curtis was removed from the home, April Henderson filed
for unemployment, claiming to have been laid off. State Employment Security
Department investigators say she owes $19,440 in undeserved unemployment

The Hendersons currently reside in Saint Augustine, Fla. A bail amount for
each was set at $50,000. They have not been jailed.




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