SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake police are investigating the death of the mother of a local motel owner who allegedly spent her final months neglected and in deplorable conditions, according to a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit.
Hyo Sin was found dead in a bed at the Overniter Motel, 1500 W. North Temple, on Feb. 14, according to a warrant filed in 3rd District Court. The elderly woman had been living at the motel that her son owns for the past five years, according to police.
"Hyo became completely bedridden and unable to care for herself at all (approximately) three months ago," the affidavit states. "Hyo has been laying in the exact same position for the past three months on the bed. She can do nothing for herself."
When police found Sin's body, she had "many severe ulcers on the left side of her body, she had skin breakdown and was emaciated," according to the warrant. "According to Dr. Todd Gray with the medical examiners office, Hyo suffered from neglect."
The motel owners occasionally changed the "bedding that Hyo laid on (and urinated and defecated on)," but otherwise did not care for her, the warrant states.
Detectives also found the room she was in did not "have adequate heating. One of the electrical outlets appeared to have caught on fire at some point as well," the affidavit states.
A maintenance worker who was interviewed by police said the motel owners would sometimes go out of town and ask him to check on Sin.
"The owners then just left it to him to care for Hyo. (The worker) is not a nurse and does not have any health care training," police wrote in the warrant. Sin spoke only Korean and the maintenance worker only speaks Spanish.
"(The worker) tried to communicate with Hyo by signing to her in regards to whether she wanted to eat or drink water," the affidavit states. "(He) would feed her bites of oatmeal, which was the only food in Hyo's room. He would also give her spoonfuls of water."
After the body was removed from the room, the health department closed the room to occupancy due to health code violations, according to police.
No one had been arrested as of Wednesday as detectives continue conducting interviews and collecting other evidence.