SUBURBAN BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A 65-year-old man is being accused of starving his elderly mother to death, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
Officials say Robert Hart called 911 on Dec. 9, 2015 to report that his 93-year-old mother was dead.
Deputies went to the residence Hart shared with his mother in the 33000 block of Azua Bay in suburban Boynton Beach and found the victim, Violet Barker, dead in her bedroom. Barker's body was in advanced stage of decomposition.
According to authorities, Hart told deputies he had just discovered his mother dead in the bedroom.
Deputies conducted a death investigation and found evidence that the victim had been dead for more than a week.
"The victim's body had decomposed to a point that parts of her had mummified. There were live maggots, numerous flies in the residence," said a news release.
Police say Hart agreed to provide a sworn statement.
Hart was the sole caregiver for his mother who had limited mobility. He told police his mother hadn't exited the house in almost two years and she would use a walker to walk from her bedroom to the kitchen and feed herself until approximately two weeks ago, when she told him that she was going to her bedroom to "hibernate" for a month and it would look like she was dead but she would be fine.
According to officials, Hart admitted that he did not seek any medical professional to check on his mother and he didn't try to feed her during the time she went to her bedroom until he realized she was dead. Hart also told police he was home every night and didn't notice the odor because he has allergies, even though detectives found several cans of Febreeze in the residence.
Hart is not employed and relied on his mother for financial support. According to Hart, his mother received monthly deposits from Social Security.
Officials interrogated the neighbors and none of them could remember seeing the victim in more than a year.
A medical examiner revealed that Mrs. Barker's death was caused by starvation and the manner of death was undetermined due to the advance stage of decomposition the victim was in when the autopsy was conducted.
A warrant is being requested to charge Hart with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult.