Man with Down Syndrome found dead on soiled mattress, 71-year-old brother accused of murder

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Apr. 17 2021, Updated 9:41 a.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania man who had Down syndrome died from an untreated medical condition and his older brother is now accused of third-degree murder.

According to a criminal complaint, on October 18, 2020, Harry A. Gramlich, 71, contacted Abington police to report his brother Timothy Gramlich, 52, was dead in a second-floor bedroom of the home they shared, Montgomery Media reported.

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Responding detectives allegedly found Timothy Gramlich’s naked body on a soiled mattress.

“The mattress and floor of the bedroom appeared stained with bodily fluids and feces,” detectives wrote in the arrest affidavit and reported by Montgomery Media. “The odor of urine and feces was profound. The body of Timothy Gramlich was unclean and appeared emaciated.”

Harry Gramlich allegedly told detectives he was the sole caretaker of his brother, who weighed 76 pounds at the time of his death, and he had last seen him alive the evening before.

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An autopsy showed Timothy Gramlich passed away as the result of Urosepsis, a type of sepsis caused by a urinary tract infection, and his manner of death was ruled undetermined.

“The examination suggested Timothy Gramlich had been neglected and had he undergone routine medical evaluations and care, his death from urosepsis could have been prevented,” detectives noted in court papers.

“These unsanitary conditions and neglect of Timothy Gramlich, a care-dependent person, demonstrated Harry Gramlich’s willful and wanton disregard of an ongoing, unjustified risk that contributed to and resulted in Timothy Gramlich’s death,” detectives wrote.

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Harry Gramlich “described his brother as bedridden for the past six months,” the detectives alleged, “admitted that Timothy had been non-verbal for many years” and “had not received any medical care in years.”

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According to court documents, Harry and Timothy Gramlich’s 58-year-old sister, Elizabeth Gramlich, who also lived in the house, told investigators “she could not recall the last time she saw [Timothy] inside the residence” and that “Timothy regressed to his second story bedroom in the 1990s after their mother died and it was there that he remained.”

She has not been charged with any crimes.

Harry Gramlich faces charges of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and neglect of care of dependent person. He is currently free on $100,000 unsecured bond.


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