Haverford Township, PA — In a joint press release yesterday, officials from Haverford Township and Delaware County announced the arrest of a Havertown woman who is charged with the death of her 83-year-old mother. Investigators from the County's Criminal Investigation Division and Detectives from Haverford Township Police worked the case jointly.
"Ellyn Gottlieb, 58, of the 200 block of David Drive of Havertown, was arrested on June 4, 2019, and charged with neglect of care-dependent person and aggravated assault, both felonies of the first degree, involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree, and theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, both felonies of the third degree," said the official release.
An investigation was launched by detectives when information was received from the County's Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), of a possible problem at home in the 200 block of David Drive, in Haverford Township. COSA officials arrived at the house on January 10, 2018, and again on January 11, 2018, and were refused entry by the victim's daughter, Ellyn Gottlieb. The COSA team was trying to check on the well being of the victim.
Haverford Township Police negotiated entrance to the property on January 11, 2018, and when entering, they were met with what appeared to be structural damages that included water leaks. A strong odor of urine and feces permeated throughout the home. There were also signs of hoarding. The victim at that time declined medical attention and confirmed that her daughter was caring for her.
A week later, on January 17, Police and EMS personnel were summoned to the home to provide lifting assistance for a fall victim. The Medics from Narberth Ambulance instead transported her to Bryn Mawr Hospital for multiple medical conditions.
The police report that the Medic's while conversing with the daughter learned that the home had been sold at Sherrif's sale for back taxes. The Medic's transported the victim to Bryn Mawr Hospital.
According to the authorities, at the Hospital, workers found that the 83-year-old victim had feces cacked on to her body as well as other serious breakdowns of her skin. Medical personnel theorized that the victim had been left in the same position for long periods. Hospital personnel told police that the victim was very hungry and, She had so many wounds on her that hospital officials could not count them all.
The Hospital started treating the victim for sepsis which according to the Oxford Dictionary is a serious condition resulting from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body's response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death. The hosp[ital took the victim into surgery.
The victim was transferred to Westgate Hill Nursing Facility on January 26, 2018, where she stayed until her death on March 12, 2018. An autopsy attributed her death to bacteremia, with probable sepsis due to multiple stage four ulcers and fistula.
Police investigators learned that the victim had been living in Broomall Manor Nursing home up until September 2017 when the victim's daughter removed her after the home tried to collect more than $22,972 in outstanding payments. A condition of the patient's release was that she was to receive in-home services from a care agency. No one followed through with doctors appointments or in-home care services.
The daughter as power of attorney for her mother was the only person with access to her monthly pension and social security payments that totaled $3,947.31 each month. The money was deposited into the victim's bank account, and when law enforcement reviewed that account they found, it was overdrawn. A financial analysis of the account found that while the victim was in the nursing home $88,695.70 was taken from her account and used to pay off bids from an auction type website accounting for on 83 purchases. Multiple QVC purchases and ATM withdraws were also made.
A look at the County tax data showed that the victims home had been listed for "Upset Sale" in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for nonpayment of taxes.
"This is a tragic case where a mother was inhumanely treated by her daughter, the person entrusted with her care, ultimately resulting in the victim's death. Ellyn Gottlieb clearly had no regard for human decency and life, as she stole from her mother and left her to die due to lack of basic care," said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland
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