Rhea County man charged with elder abuse after stranding parents in trailer park
DAYTON, Tennessee (WDEF) Matthew J. Savage Jr. has been indicted on charges of elder abuse for abandoning his parents in a Spring City trailer park.
The investigation began when residents in the park reported their pitiful circumstances.
They said that Wanda and Matthew Senior thought their son would return after dropping them off with rent money to set them up.
Instead, they spent four days without power or heat.
Eventually a church got them power and neighbors brought them food, water and clothes.
Neighbors reported that Wanda wandered the trailer park in a dazed state, looking for used cigarettes and food.
The father was bedridden and needed medical care.
He would eventually be hospitalized.
Through all of this, the son never returned, even though he has their ebt government assistance cards.
The Rhea County Herald-News reports that a new Tennessee law helped investigators build their case.
It requires local district attorneys to set up Vulnerable Adult Protective Investigative teams (VAPIT).
The law allows law enforcement to treat elder abuse cases like child abuse.