Sheriff: DSS should have probed West Columbia woman's case - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sheriff: DSS should have probed West Columbia woman's case

Robert Tidwell in court Robert Tidwell in court
Roberta Young in court Roberta Young in court

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is asking if social services officials should have been involved in the case of a bedridden woman who died last week.

Metts said a doctor visiting 60-year-old Harriett Tidwell's home in April reported squalid conditions to social services officials.

State law charges the Department of Social Services with assuring the safety of vulnerable adults being cared for at home. The agency says it is investigating.

Tidwell weighed 48 pounds and had numerous bed sores when she died December 2. Metts said the case was one of the most sickening things he's ever seen, but the family says Tidwell's husband and caretaker was anything but neglectful.

"They had to know," countered Metts. "It's so obvious just from her arms, even if she was clothed. If they were taking care of her they would have known seeing the maggots, that something needed to be done that wasn't being done."

Tidwell's husband and daughter have been charged with abusing or neglecting a vulnerable adult. Bond of $75,000 each was set Thursday for Robert Edward Tidwell and Roberta Marie Young.

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