Newport woman trapped 3 years in home full of garbage, feces

Newport woman trapped 3 years in home full of garbage, feces

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The victim told detectives she had been living in piles of garbage and her own feces for about three years. (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) The victim told detectives she had been living in piles of garbage and her own feces for about three years. (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)
The victim's mother, Gail Gann (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) The victim's mother, Gail Gann (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)
"I'm quite amazed she's still alive," said Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes. "I'm quite amazed she's still alive," said Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.
Neighbors say they were unaware of the magnitude of what was going on in the house. Neighbors say they were unaware of the magnitude of what was going on in the house.
Detectives say the front door was barricaded by a whole lot of nastiness. Detectives say the front door was barricaded by a whole lot of nastiness.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) – A bedridden woman is now safe after being rescued from her home filled with piles of garbage and her own feces.

Cocke County firefighters had to cut a large hole in a wall to get in and rescue the woman from her house on Old Sevierville Highway in Newport.

The 48-year-old victim's mother, Gail Gann, has been charged with crimes related to the woman's plight.

The victim told detectives she had been living in piles of garbage and her own feces for about three years. The home had no bathroom. In three years, she'd never been taken out of the house.

"I'm quite amazed she's still alive," said Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.

An anonymous tip led detectives to the house, where they say the front door was barricaded by a whole lot of nastiness.

"The place was extremely filthy, had roaches and spiders. There were several used diapers in there. Several articles of filthy, nasty clothing. Several pieces of leftover food, leftover trash, anything that an individual would throw into a trash would be found in this residence," Sheriff Fontes said.

Eventually firefighters cut a 4X8-foot hole in the wall of the house to pull out the 48-year-old victim.

Gann has been charged with physical abuse, or gross negligence of an impaired adult.

Detectives say Gann lived in a different home.

"She was going in and giving her food supplies and that's about it. There's not a restroom there that she could use. So she was using the restroom in the place she was in," he said.

Neighbors say they were unaware of the magnitude of what was going on in the house.

"There's things happening all around us we know nothing about," said Donald Rector, a neighbor.

How the woman survived the filth amazes everyone.

"It's a very cruel and sickening situation," Sheriff Fontes said.

Investigators say their sense is the mother had some mental health issues.

The victim is being cared for now by Adult Protective Services. Due to regulations, the victim's condition is not being released at this time.

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