CRIME
06/28/2013 12:11 pm ET

Sherrie Morton Arrested After Mother Found With Maggot-Infested Wound

A Washington State woman has been arrested after her mother, who was in her care, was found covered in maggots in a squalid bedroom.

Sherrie Morton, 46, was arrested June 19 and charged with criminal mistreatment of a dependent person. Her mother, 70, was found in critical condition earlier this month in her Auburn home, after Morton called 911, CBS Seattle reported.

"The maggots may have helped keep [the woman] alive due to the fact that they were eating the rotting skin that was infected and helping to slow the infection,” detective Marylisa Priebe-Olson said in court documents obtained by KOMO News.

A witness told Kings County deputies that she visited the home earlier in the day and saw "hundreds of maggots" around a large, rotting wound on the woman's leg, according to the Seattle PI. The witness described what she saw as "like a horror movie," and said she threatened to call police, according to the Associated Press. Morton called 911 later that day.

Morton, who lives in the home with her mother, claimed she had just noticed the maggots on her mother's leg wound. However, police say the injury appeared to be at least a month old, the woman's sheets were filthy and bug-infested, and the room was filled with flies.

Investigators also say there were large trash piles throughout the house. Paramedics wore hazmat suits to remove the woman from her home.

The paramedics believe the maggots infesting the elderly woman's wound may have actually saved her life.

"The maggots may have helped keep [the woman] alive due to the fact that they were eating the rotting skin that was infected and helping to slow the infection,” detective Marylisa Priebe-Olson said in court documents obtained by KOMO News.

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