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Salt Lake woman charged with allowing family to live in deplorable conditions

House had feces, flies, animals, dead chickens, smell of ammonia throughout, police say

Police tape is wrapped around a tree as West Valley City police investigate a fatal shooting at near 4274 W. 4695 South on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake woman faces criminal charges accusing her of allowing her special needs husband and daughter to live in deplorable conditions.

Linda Diana Heagren, 63, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with two counts of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony.

The investigation began in June when Heagren’s husband, who has dementia and is schizoaffective, walked out of the house, but Hegren didn’t call police for 30 minutes, according to charging documents.

When police found the man, they said he wanted to file a complaint against his wife. Officers noted the man “was very thin, nearly 150 pounds, compared to the 255 pounds on his previous documentation and his hygiene was extremely poor,” according to charging documents.

The man told police “there is (poop) all over the walls,” he is living in poor conditions, his wife was taking his money and completely controlling him, the charges state.

When police conducted a follow-up interview with Heagren to check on both her husband and adult daughter, who has cerebral palsy and functions on the level of a 10-year-old, Heagren refused to let officers in the house, according to the charges.

While talking to Heagren at the door, offices noticed feces on her feet, dozens of flies between the curtain and window and a foul odor coming from the residence, the charges state.

Police later returned with a search warrant.

“Upon entry to the residence, officers were immediately hit with a wave of intense ammonia smell from the urine,” investigators wrote in the court documents. “A massive amount of flies were flying around the residence and there was feces all over the floors, walls, furniture and in the kitchen and bathrooms.”

The adult daughter was found in a dark room of the Glendale home and was “clearly afraid and resistant and lashed out at officers,” the charges state. “(She) was dirty and only wearing a shirt and diaper. (She) appeared to be blind.”

Neighbors reported they had never seen the daughter outside.

Multiple dogs, cats and dead chickens were also found in the residence, along with rotten food, according to the charges. The house was closed to occupancy by the health department and the husband and daughter were taken by Adult Protective Services to a safe location.