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Neighbors of an elderly Alabama woman who died in deplorable conditions reportedly called police about the woman’s husband and daughter, who were charged on Wednesday in connection with her death.
Police officers who responded to a home in Valley on March 16 discovered the body of Janice Hawkins, 72, tied to a chair in a roach-infested, cluttered living room. Neighbors told WTVM that Hawkins was frail — and an autopsy confirmed she died from complications of diabetes and malnutrition.
“You could tell that the cats did not have — use litter boxes,” Valley police Chief Mike Reynolds alleged. “The ammonia smell, the feces were on the floor, roaches everywhere in this home and especially on the body itself.”
The day police officers discovered Janice’s body, her husband and caretaker Walter Hawkins, 74, reportedly called 911 asking for the coroner, not an ambulance.
Police have since alleged that the elderly woman had not seen a doctor since 2019 and none of her nine medications had been filled since 2018. Authorities believe the neglect started in 2014, according to AL.com.
Neighbors told WTVM that the couple’s daughter, Christy Hawkins, 45, and Walter were violent towards them.
“The neighbors over there — they were just threatening the man or the woman with a hammer calling me them the N word, being nasty,” a neighbor said.
Another neighbor alleged that Janice came into their home on multiple occasions and expressed fear that she was going to be killed.
Reynolds confirmed to WTVM that they had been called to the Hawkins residence at least 40 times since 2014, and most of those calls pertained to domestic violence.
The autopsy report, which was completed earlier this month, also noted that Janice had sunken eyes and protruding ribs. Her body mass index (BMI) was reportedly 14.
Walter was charged with manslaughter and first-degree elderly abuse and neglect, while Christy was charged with first-degree elderly abuse and neglect.
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[Featured image: Walter Hawkins/Chambers County Detention Facility]