A 67-year-old woman from Licking is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her mother following a multi-agency investigation that alleges extreme neglect.
Patricia Davis is charged after the May 22, 2019, death of her mother, Kathleen C. Davis, 91, who was immobilized for weeks on a floor at her Highway N residence near the Big Piney River. According to a report, a Missouri Department Health and Senior Services investigator, following up on calls reporting the neglect, called for an ambulance to take her to Texas County Memorial Hospital, where she was later declared dead.
The discovery triggered an investigation by Texas County Coroner Marie Lasater and Texas County Chief Deputy Rowdy Douglas. According to the report, the woman, a former school teacher and Texas County Family Services worker in Houston for about 20 years, was found covered in urine, feces, maggots and dirt. The coroner found serious sores to the elderly woman’s right side.
Davis, an only child who lived with her mother, described herself as the mother’s caregiver for about four years and reported she had fallen about two months before the state investigator found her. Davis reported to the deputy she had written two cousins seeking help in the week before the discovery. According to a report, that timetable meant the mother had been on the floor for about five weeks before the daughter sought help.
Patricia Davis, in a law enforcement interview, said once her mother fell to the floor, she picked up her mother once and placed her in a chair. She returned later to find her on the floor again. Authorities said the mother was found about four feet from a bed.
Davis explained she didn’t believe she neglected her mother’s health needs: She would fix her mother food and place it on the floor next to her mother. “I asked Patricia how she thought her mother could get up to use the restroom when she knew she couldn’t get up on her own with no assistance. Patricia then told me she would place a bowl of water in the floor next to her mother so her mother could wash herself,” Douglas wrote.
A death certificate shows the mother had multiple pressure ulcers, severe malnutrition and dehydration, had pulmonary emboli due to prolonged immobility and untreated pneumonia.
Texas County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Prosecutor also filed charges of second-degree assault, a felony, and abuse of an elderly disabled or venerable person, a misdemeanor. She is held on $500,000 bond after her arrest late Thursday afternoon.
Former co-workers of the victim described her as a dedicated state employee. “She was one of the sweetest people you could ever be around,” said one. Her brother is a resident at Houston House.