Police: Alpharetta couple face felonies after 73-year-old was found in filthy home

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

An Alpharetta couple faces felony charges after allegedly abusing a 73-year-old, bedridden family member by leaving her in a filthy home, authorities said.

Lynnieve Windham and Mario Cruz face a count of elder abuse after Windham’s mother was found living in the decrepit house that reeked of cat urine, feces and other filth, Alpharetta police told Channel 2 Action News.

“The conditions were so bad that the welfare agents and our police officers had to wear masks, gloves and shoe covers,” Sgt. Howard Miller told Channel 2.

Workers with the Division of Family and Children Services discovered the conditions at the house on Wedgewood Drive on Jan. 13, Miller told the news station. Furniture, appliances and other items were found littering the house.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

“When they did the welfare check inside the home, they were immediately overblown with the pungent smell of cat urine,” Miller said. “There was feces reported all over the home.”

The 73-year-old woman lived in the home with her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, Channel 2 reported.

A family friend contends that police overreacted in this case.

“They were overstating the condition of the home,” George Menden said. “It was not clean, but it was not condemned ... This is a condition the home has been in for a very long time.”

After Windham and Cruz were arrested Jan. 14, DFCS temporarily took custody of their children, eventually placing them with their aunt, Channel 2 reported. The 73-year-old woman is now in an assisted living facility.

The couple were released the next day, each on a $10,000 bond, Fulton County Jail records show.

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