FELTON -- A 19-year-old woman was arrested Friday after deputies visited a home on Graham Hill Road and found that the 89-year-old man she was caring for had been left in deplorable conditions, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said.
Michaela Ann Harwell was arrested on suspicion of felony elder abuse and her bail was set at $100,000, records show.
Sgt. Pat Dimick said deputies visited the home on the 5200 block of Graham Hill Road Friday to check on the man after receiving information from Harwell while she was in County Jail on a separate case.
He declined to elaborate on the source of the information, but said it caused them to become concerned for the man.
When deputies arrived at the home about 3 p.m., they found the man on the ground and unable at first to respond to their calls, Dimick said.
The home was "completely disheveled and unsanitary" with no running water or power and little food or water, he said. There were propane tanks and trash inside and dog feces on the floor, he said.
The man later said Harwell was his caregiver, Dimick said. She identified herself as his caregiver also and listed the home as her residence. She was arrested there.
"It's sad and unfortunate," Dimick said. "It seems he put his faith in someone who took advantage of him. She says she's his caretaker and this is the kind of care she is providing him with.
"Fortunately, deputies were able to string together enough
Deputies have been to the home before, investigating reports of theft and drug use, he said.
Harwell was arrested on Feb. 19, too, Dimick said, after deputies visited the home a week earlier and found heroin in plain view in an outbuilding on the property and a .38-caliber handgun in a shirt believed to belong to Harwell.
Sentinel archives show Harwell was arrested Jan. 26 as well, on felony warrants alleging identity theft, forgery, possession of stolen property and possession of narcotics.
After Friday's visit, deputies notified Adult Protective Services and Environmental Health Services, Dimick said.
He said he had not received an update on the man's condition Monday.
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