Parrot's cries may be clue in alleged elder abuse

Gloria Clark
Gloria Clark

ST. GEORGE, SC (WCSC) - Police say a parrot cried for help and then laughed in a South Carolina home where a woman is accused of neglect in the death of her 98-year-old mother.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Wednesday that police think the parrot's cries mimicked the interaction between the mother and daughter.

Authorities summoned to the unheated home in St. George on Monday night found Anne Copeland inside. Authorities say there were seven dogs and several cats inside, and the floors were covered with animal droppings.

"This is the worst I've seen in 17 years," said St. George Police Lt. Eric Bonnette. "The bedroom window was open so the odor of the decaying flesh from the wounds would leave the room."

Copeland had several bed sores on her left side. Copeland's daughter, Gloria Park Clark said she had not turned her mother in over a week, police said. Her bed was soiled.

"There was no emotion really, just a bunch of excuses," said Bonnette.

Authorities say Copeland died the next day.

Clark is charged with abuse and neglect resulting in the death of a vulnerable adult. A bond hearing for her was scheduled Wednesday.

Copyright 2010 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.