A woman has been arrested today after police found her elderly mother stuck to her soiled bedding with hundreds of maggots crawling over her.
Firefighters and medics in hazardous material suits had to pull the 70-year-old mother from her home and take her to the Valley Medical Center in King County, where she is listed in critical condition.
Her daughter Sherrie Morton, 46, was charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment of a dependent person. She told deputies the maggots only appeared on her mother's leg wound two days before police arrived.
But paramedics say the woman had been injured at least a month before. Doctors said the septic wound and gangrene could have taken her leg.
Flies were circling the room where she was found and the 70-year-old complained her legs were 'burning'.
Morton told police it took her hours to change her 400-pound mother's diaper and bedding and she used shaving cream to clean her. She also admitted she smelled rotting flesh recently.
King County Sheriff's Det Marylisa Priebe-Olson said in court papers: '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.'
Medical staff removed hundreds of maggots from the elderly woman's body in the days after she was rescued.
Morton said she had been living at the home with her mother for 13 years and insisted she had just changed her diaper and bedding two days before, Seattle Pi reports.
She only dialled Emergency services (911) when her friend threatened to do it after seeing hundreds of maggots covering the mother's exposed sores. She described it as a 'horror movie'.
Detective Priebe-Olsen told the court the mother claimed to have been well looked after by her daughter.
'(She) said in the hospital that her care at home was fine,' the detective told the court. 'However, (she) did not understand that maggots eating her flesh was not good care.'
Detective Priebe-Olsonalso noted that large piles of garbage were inside the home and there was a strong smell of rotting flesh, feces and ammonia.
Morton remains jailed on $150,000 bail.