Gulfport women arrested in elder neglect case

- Gulfport Police released the name Tuesday of the woman who investigators said was left to die by her caretakers in a home full of trash and infested with bugs.

Police said Kathryn Ashe, 66, moved into an apartment on 29th Avenue South with two friends, Debra and Jennifer Poulos last October; the Pouloses were expected to take care of Ashe, who had no family to do so.

According to detectives, the Pouloses allowed garbage to build up to about a foot deep throughout the home, which became infested with roaches. Police said the Pouloses then moved out to a hotel, leaving Ashe behind.

Eight to 10 days later, Ashe was dead.

"She had no A.C., the conditions were deplorable, uninhabitable, completely infested with roaches and literally impossible to walk around the house without kicking out over clutter," said Sgt. Thomas Woodman, with Gulfport Police. "We expect that if they're going to take on that roll of a caregiver, whether they're doing it professionally or as a friend - any capacity - they need to care for that individual."

Neighbors said they didn't know Ashe, but were extremely upset to hear the details surrounding her death.

"Horror that someone was over there needing help and we didn't know we could help them," said Cathy Statlen, who lives a couple apartments away from Ashe. "I hope it's all over soon so we can go back to normal because this is a nice place to live."

The Pouloses were arrested over the weekend and charged with abuse or neglect of a disabled person. Jennifer Poulos had a child neglect charge added Tuesday because, according to police, her 4-year-old son was also living in the apartment.

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