Local News

Lillington Couple Accused Of Abusing Mother

Posted May 24, 2006 2:08 a.m. EDT

— Investigators say a Harnett County woman was neglected to the point of death. Now, her son and daughter-in-law are charged in the case.

Authorities said that 78-year-old Linda Arab Kaneklides was taken to Rowan Medical Center in November with serious bodily injuries caused by lying in the same position for an extended period of time. According to authorities, Kaneklides had not been in a doctor's care for more than two years prior to her hospitalization, despite her deteriorating physical and mental condition, which included kidney and liver failure, severe bedsores and dementia.

"It appears that they were concealing some things, because there were family members who were not allowed to see her for long periods of time," said Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins. "She was under the control of the son and his wife as to who would see her and who would be with her for a long period of time."

George Alexander Kaneklides, 54, and Ann Langdon Kaneklides, 50, were charged with one count each of abuse of a disabled or elderly person with serious injury and exploitation of a disabled person on April 3.

Linda Kaneklides was transferred to a Greensboro hospital for treatment, where she died on April 7. Authorities said more charges may be pending in the wake of her death.

The couple had been caring for Linda Kaneklides since she moved into her Lillington home in 2000. According to Ann Kaneklides' attorneys, she worked long hours outside of the home as an accountant and also cared for her own sick father.

"I don't think that ... our client feels that there was any form of abuse or neglect in the home," said attorney Parrish Daughtry.

Neighbors said that they didn't know the elderly woman was inside the house at all, and the only evidence of her presence was a wheelchair ramp leading to the home's entrance.

"They kind of kept to themselves, and we didn't bother them" said neighbor Jim Adcock. "We didn't have any idea that this was taking place."

According to Rollins, Linda Kaneklides was isolated from other family members as well.

"They brought her down here to look after her, because she wasn't able to look after herself," said Ann Kaneklides' attorney Gerald Hayes.

WRAL contacted George Kaneklides attorney, who said he stands behind his client's innocence. Authorities said that Linda Kaneklides' estate is worth more than $1 million.

Approximately 2 million Americans over 65 have been abused by caretakers. One in 14 are cases of physical abuse, and one in five are financial abuse, where caretakers want control of the victim's assets.