Family disputes police claim of elderly abuse

April 24, 2012 1:16:57 PM PDT
A New Jersey woman is facing elderly abuse charges after police say she barricaded her mother-in-law inside her home in West New York last week, but the family diputes the claim and says they will fight the charges.

Police say they were responding to a call of animal abuse after it was reported that there was a large number of cats residing in the basement of the home. When they arrived at the house, a neighbor directed them to a basement apartment, where they say the door was barricaded from the outside with a shovel.

Authorities removed the shovel and found 89-year-old Delphine Linden inside. They say she was upset and very disoriented.

As officers were talking to her and trying to determine her mental status, her daughter, 58-year-old Piedad Von-Der Linden, arrived. She reportedly said she left her mother-in-law at home for only two hours to go to church.

Police called an ambulance after the mother-in-law was unable to answer basic questions and exhibited further altered mental status.

Authorities say Von-Der Linden became agitated and told cops they were harassing her. She was placed under arrest and charged with neglect of an elderly person.

Police say they could not determine how long Linden was barricaded in the basement, but that there was no other way out of the house besides the door that was blocked with the shovel.

The family, however, says police made terrible assumptions and are totally wrong in this case. Both Von-Der Linden and Linden say there were many ways out of the basekment, and that the shovel was there so the door wouldn't blow open, which would have allowed Linden's cat, Peppy, to run away. She also claims she was disoriented and confused because she became frazzled when police busted in.

Linden says she loves her daughter-in-law, and that she was never barricaded inside or abused.

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