Des Moines Man, His Girlfriend Charged With Murder After His Father Died Weighing Less Than 90 Pounds

iowa man feces soaked bed murder caretakers charged
Source: West Des Moines Police Department

Feb. 28 2023, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

An Iowa man and his girlfriend were charged with murder after his dad was found living in “deplorable conditions” and later died, police said.

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.

Article continues below advertisement

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.

Article continues below advertisement

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.

An autopsy showed Steven's cause of death to be polymicrobial sepsis, osteomyelitis, iliopsoas abscess, pneumonia and endocarditis, the Des Moines Register reported.

Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.

Police said that evidence suggested Steven’s caretakers “intentionally or recklessly denied him adequate medical care and living conditions, which resulted in his death.”

Both Jacob and Jocelyn were arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail without bond on second-degree murder charges.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2023 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.