Woman Barricaded Mother-in-Law in Basement: Police

The elderly woman was allegedly locked inside the basement with a shovel, plywood and cinderblock

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012  |  Updated 9:49 AM EDT
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Woman Barricaded Mother-in-Law in Basement: Police

Getty Images / Scott Olson

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A New Jersey woman was arrested last week after police discovered her mother-in-law barricaded inside the basement, police said Monday.

The unnamed 58-year-old resident of West New York, N.J. was charged with neglect of the elderly.

The Jersey Journal reports police made the discovery when an officer responding to a report of dozens of cats living inside the woman's home noticed the basement door barricaded from the outside with a shovel.

When the officer removed the shovel and went inside, he discovered an elderly woman who identified herself as the 58-year-old woman's mother-in-law.

The elderly woman didn't know her name, the date or the president of the United States, according to the newspaper.

The basement walls were covered with extension cords, and there was a heating plate, officials told the paper. Another exit inside the basement was blocked by plywood and cinder block.

A building inspector arrived and determined the basement was unfit for habitation.

The woman said she had used the shovel to keep the door locked because the wind could blow it open, according to police.

It was not immediately clear how long the elderly woman had been kept locked inside the basement or whether she was removed from the home.

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