Couple charged with murdering woman's father through abuse and neglect
An Oscoda woman and her husband have been charged with the murder of the woman's father.
According to the Oscoda County Prosecutor, Rachel and Carl Bruce were caring for 73-year-old Herman Ritchey, Jr. when he died in October 2012.
Investigators say Ritchey was found in a secluded room with large, open sores and scabs on his body. He was severely malnourished.
Further investigation revealed that Ritchey had been left in soiled clothes for at least two days. He had not been given his prescribed medications and he had been left in his closed bedroom, where he would be found crawling on the floor.
Investigators looked into Ritchey's medical history, pharmaceutical history and financial records. They found that Ritchey had not seen or been treated by a doctor since March 2011. He had been receiving a substantial amount of money from veteran and social security benefits, but he was never given the proper treatment. During that time, the Bruce's were his sole caregivers.
According to the medical examiner's report, Ritchey died of malnutrition due to dementia and neglect.
Carl Bruce and Rachel Bruce are each facing three felony charges: homicide-felony murder, first-degree vulnerable adult abuse and second-degree vulnerable adult abuse.
If convicted of murder, Carl and Rachel could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. The first-degree abuse charge could put them behind bars for up to fifteen years. The second-degree charge could be up to four years.
Both suspects were denied bond because of the severity and seriousness of the charges. They will be back in court on August 6th.