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Pennsylvania Mom Restrained Disabled Adopted Daughter in Bed with Chains on Neck, Waist and Hands: Cops

Pennsylvania Mother Accused of Chaining Disabled Daughter to Bed
Source: Fayetteville County Jail; Unsplash

Marylou Dewitt accused of chaining her mentally challenged adult daughter to a bed for days, police said.

Jun. 9 2024, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania mother has been arrested after she allegedly handcuffed her mentally disabled adult daughter to a bed frame and wrapped chains around her neck and waist to restrain her for several days, according to authorities.

Around 2 a.m. on May 29, officers were dispatched to a home in Upper Tyrone Township and found the 22-year-old woman restrained, according to court documents obtained by the Herald-Standard.

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The alleged victim’s sister called 911 and claimed her mother had been behaving erratically, officials said.

Police spoke with the sister, who is in her late teens. She told troopers that she had been out at a local convenience store getting food shortly before midnight when she went to her mother’s home near Scottdale.

At the residence, the teenager reportedly heard her adopted sister screaming from an upstairs bedroom and found her restrained in bed, court documents allege.

The alleged victim only had access to sandwiches but no other food or water, the court documents show.

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The teenager was able to free her sister after finding keys to the handcuffs and two separate chains in a nearby lunchbox, authorities said.

The pair's mother, 53-year-old Marylou Dewitt, returned home, but the teenager stopped her from tampering with any evidence and called 911, according to police.

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Trooper Rocco Gagliardi noted the room was “deplorable” and “wasn’t very pleasant.” He noted the alleged victim told police she had been confined since May 24, or nearly five days.

Investigators said they found bruising on the victim’s leg and her face was swollen. The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical care.

Dewitt left the house before police arrived at the scene, but she was eventually arrested during a traffic stop in Pittsburgh, officials said.

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Police were able to track Dewitt down using her cell phone. Trooper Gagliardi said Dewitt was “having some sort of mental episode” and it took officers some time to stop her.

Dewitt was booked into the Fayetteville County jail and charged with felony neglect of a disabled person, as well as numerous other counts, authorities said.

She was being held without bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on June 12.

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