On Aug. 10, 2022, officers responded to a call from Jacob Schaper, 24, saying his father was experiencing a medical emergency in West Des Moines, the West Des Moines Police Department said.
On the scene, Jacob told medical personnel that his father, Steven Schaper, 58, was diabetic and “had been bedridden for a month” and was not taking “any of his prescription medications for a long time,” WHO 13 reported.
Jacob also told first responders that his father’s appearance had changed suddenly and he thought he was having a stroke.
Officers described the condition of the home as “deplorable” and noted Steven was found “lying on a feces and urine soaked mattress.” His “teeth were black and appeared to be rotting out” and he was “skin and bones,” weighing an estimated 80 to 90 pounds, police said.
As he was being transported to the hospital, he reportedly asked EMTs to “help me.”
He died at the hospital.
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An investigation determined Jacob and his girlfriend, Jocelyn Grisham, 23, were Steven’s caretakers because he needed continuous care and was not able to leave his bed, get his own food or bathe.
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Police said that evidence suggested Steven’s caretakers “intentionally or recklessly denied him adequate medical care and living conditions, which resulted in his death.”
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