A south suburban woman—accused of beating an elderly relative with a stick and letting him live amid animal feces, urine and trash—has been arrested by the Cook County Sheriff's Department.
Denise Thomas, 49, of the 20900 block of South Cottage Grove in Ford Heights is charged with one count of domestic battery to a person over 60, according to the sheriff.
A friend of the elderly victim called police after learning the victim had been struck by Thomas and that the two were living in unhealthy conditions, according to police. Patrol officers visited on the home on April 15 and found that there was no running water or heat. Officers also found that the food in the refrigerator was spoiled because there was no electricity.
The victim told police that on April 14 he returned from the store with Thomas, and she parked the car in the driveway. The victim did not recall an argument, but says he remembers Thomas accusing him of talking too much and repeatedly striking him in the back with a stick as he attempted to leave her car, according to police.
Sheriff's officer's took the man to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights for evaluation. Investigators arrested Thomas when she arrived at the hospital to see the victim.
On April 21, investigators with the Cook County Sheriff's Office Animal Crimes Unit and Cook County Code Enforcement returned to the victim's 13-acre property, where he kept some livestock. Based on the unsanitary conditions on the property, officers removed a pregnant mare suffering from edema; another mare bloated due to parasites, along with her newborn foal; and a goat in unhealthy condition.
None of the animals had food or water, and their stalls were filthy. The animals were hauled to Forest View Farms in Oak Forest.
Denise Thomas’ next court date is May 11 in Markham.