Family alleges 90-year-old father abused by live-in girlfriend
A shocking story of abuse and hoarding is being investigated in California after a 90-year-old man is found living in filthy conditions.
Investigators were called to the house of horrors in La Jolla, Calif. on Thursday by the man's daughter. She said her childhood home was now unsightly.
The home was found with dirt on the walls, packed animal feces on the floor, and the smell from dozens of dogs and cats so intense it knocks you back. But the worst part? The skeleton of a dead cat in the bathroom.
For Michelle Redfield seeing her childhood home in this condition was heartbreaking.
"This is really devastating this was my mom's living room," she told WSWB-TV.
Her father, 90-year-old Robert Stella, was a World War II Veteran and a widower when he met his girlfriend. She promised to care for him and love him. Instead, they say she hoarded and abused him.
"My father met her, and he said 'well, ya know she's homeless', my big hearted man. She started quickly getting relationship going," Michelle said.
Once she got in the house, Michelle's husband, Will, said they were locked out.
"After she got in the house, the doors became locked to us. We would never be able to see him. We would call the police for well checks. They would go in, they would check on him. The house was deteriorating year by year, but the police would ask Robert if he wanted to stay, and under extreme intimidation he'd say yes," Will said.
He was kept in the bedroom where Michelle said she was almost tortured him with food.
"In this room, she would tie him to the bed every time she left the house, he said she would put food up on the dresser, so he could see it and not have access to it," Michelle said.
The family says Robert didn't have access to a phone. The kitchen was bolted and the thermostat covered and inaccessible.
"My dad was always cold. He never got any heat," Michelle said.
After years of alleged neglect and abuse, police and animal control are investigating.
Robert is recovering from severe bed sores and trauma at a care facility while the family hopes for peace and justice.
So far, there have been no charges filed.