Cops: Disabled Woman Kept in Closet for 6-7 Years

Sister is charged with unlawful imprisonment
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2015 2:33 PM CDT
Cops: Disabled Woman Kept in Closet for 6-7 Years
Candy Lawson   (Shiawassee County Sheriff Office via AP)

A 42-year-old disabled woman spent the past six or seven years of her life locked in a closet by her sister—thirsty, starving, and with only a bucket for a toilet, the AP reports. A handyman reportedly discovered the victim, who has "cognitive and physical impairments," in a closet of a Michigan home in July. Police then found the malnourished and dehydrated victim, who was reportedly given little clothing and only a few sheets for a bed. The victim was hospitalized for a week and is now in protective custody. The police chief in Corunna tells the Argus-Press he's never seen anything like it.

Police arrested the victim's 44-year-old sister, Candy Lawson, who was charged with unlawful imprisonment, abuse of a vulnerable adult, and embezzlement from a vulnerable adult yesterday. The Argus-Press reports Lawson used her sister's Social Security checks to pay bills. Lawson pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry punishments of between five and 15 years in prison. Lawson's daughter, her daughter's boyfriend, and their children also lived in the house, but no further charges are expected. (More crime stories.)

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