MOUNT CARMEL - An 86-year-old borough woman was found last month to be malnourished, dehydrated and living in wretched conditions, and her son is charged with his mother's neglect.

Joseph Francis Campbell, 56, of 213 S. Vine St., Mount Carmel, was charged Monday by Cpl. David Donkochik with counts of neglect of a care-dependent person and forgery, both felonies, along with a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person.

He was arraigned Tuesday and jailed in Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury, in lieu of $150,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones, Mount Carmel, is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Campbell was the primary caregiver for his mother, Rose Marcoon, at their South Vine Street home. Dr. Peter McNeil, a Mount Carmel family physician, told police he hadn't seen Marcoon since May and went to her home unannounced about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1 to check on her well-being. He entered the unlocked home and called her name and heard her respond from upstairs.

McNeil found her in a filthy bedroom lying on a mattress stained by body fluids, her pants the same way. There were no bedsheets on the mattress, only a dirty blanket. A stale waffle was beneath the blanket and a water bottle and plate laid on the floor. Alert but disoriented, Marcoon was thirsty and hungry, her stomach concave, and there were open sores and contusions all about her body.

The doctor called for paramedics who upon arrival called for a police officer, and for the officer to bring a camera.

Patrolman Matthew Dillman documented the condition of the home through photographs. According to a criminal complaint, the home was mostly clean and well-kept. The second-floor bedroom in which Marcoon was residing was anything but. It had an odor so foul and strong that could be smelled throughout the second and first floors. Dillman soon after alerted Donkochik who reviewed the photographs and led the investigation.

Marcoon was taken for treatment to Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital, Coal Township, where she was given plenty of food and drink. She ate and drank at a pace so rapid that additional food was temporarily withheld to prevent any complications.

She was weak and couldn't move her arms and legs. One leg could not be fully extended. Her weight was between 75 and 80 pounds.

Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging Protective Services were notified, an of which spoke with Marcoon and a physician assistant at the hospital and interviewed Campbell.

Police, too, interviewed Campbell. According to the criminal complaint, the deed to Marcoon's home was put in his name. A bank account was changed to a joint account so he could pay bills and take care of both of their needs. He said he was unemployed and his mother's only caregiver.

Campbell told police he tried to convince his mother to seek medical attention but that she put it off. He was aware of her declining health but denied making any attempts to seek outside assistance for her care, the criminal complaint states.

Northumberland County Judge William H. Wiest removed Campbell as Marcoon's guardian during a hearing Monday and granted emergency guardianship to Eldercare Solutions Inc. on the recommendation of Area Agency on Aging.

Marcoon has since been discharged from the hospital. She is residing in an area nursing facility.