Oak Lawn man is charged with felony abuse of elderly relative

  • Written by By Dermot Connolly

Oak Lawn resident Thomas Bartley is facing charges of felony abuse and neglect of an elderly person after police doing a wellness check on his 76-year-old cousin found her sitting in human waste in the kitchen of the home the two share in the 10700 block of South Keating Avenue on May 10.

Police said they were asked to check on the well-being of the woman, after the manager of a dental office called to say she had missed an appointment. When they went to the house, police said they noticed an overwhelming foul odor inside. They said the woman was sitting at the kitchen table, with human feces on her legs and the floor around her.

They said she appeared disoriented and suffering from malnutrition. Bartley told them she was eating spaghetti, but had not eaten “for a day or two” before.

Bartley also told police she had not showered for two or three weeks. He said he would wheel her back and forth to bed. Police said she was suffering from bedsores and a live maggot was found on her body.

The staff of Advocate Christ Medical Center where the woman was taken by ambulance, told police that she was "one of the worst malnourished patients they had ever seen." Police said her socks and other clothing was stuck to her skin and had to be cut off to be removed.

At a bail hearing the following day, bail was set at $100,000 for Bartley, who had been sharing the home with his cousin for nine years, prosecutors said.

Bartley’s next court appearance is set for June 8.