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Joplin Police Investigate Alleged Elder Abuse - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Police Investigate Alleged Elder Abuse

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Joplin, MO -

Police are looking into a possible case of elder abuse in Joplin.  The incident was reported to investigators yesterday, and police say they are taking this allegation very seriously.  The JPD says at the very least, this investigation should remind people to report something if they suspect something.

Police say their investigation centers around a home on South Kentucky Avenue.

"Children, the elderly, people with disabilities, they can be more prone to abuse," says Captain Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department.  "Part of the reason is they can't necessarily come out and tell people about it.  There's always the thought they're not going to speak about it, or they can't speak about it."

The home is occupied by Skills Unlimited, an organization that provides clinical and rehabilitative services for people with disabilities.  Police say several people live in the home with care workers, and this allegation of elder abuse involves a now former care worker.

"We do see instances of abuse from people that, there's an expectation they'll be caring for somebody and not abusing them.  Overwhelmingly, what we see is the people who make those reports are looking out for the best interests of other people and want to do the right thing," says Duncan.

Police aren't releasing how many people are involved in this allegation.  The executive director of Skills Unlimited says in a statement, "It is agency policy not to comment on active criminal and state investigations.  When we became aware of this possible situation state officials and local law enforcement were contacted immediately."

Police are not releasing any details of the nature of this alleged abuse.  No arrests have been made.

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