WARNING: The following article contains graphic descriptions of physical injuries and neglect. Reader discretion is advised.
CARBONDALE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Pennsylvania State Police say a woman left her 53-year-old dependent husband, who was suffering from open sores and other injuries, covered in cat litter because he was “ruining the house.”
Police say David Maijala had multiple broken bones when he arrived at an area hospital in September covered in feces, urine and litter. He also had a large, rotting sore on his back that a nurse described as so deep it almost left his spine visible.
Maijala arrived at the hospital with a letter from his wife, 60-year-old Catherine Maijala, stating that he was struck by an ATV on August 20 and neither of them sought medical treatment for his injuries.
Troopers say the man was brought in after paramedics responded to a Carbondale Township home for a patient with hip pain and found it was “dilapidated and in disarray.” Officials found human waste and garbage inside the home, and said they found the victim on the floor covered in litter and a sheet.
Catherine Maijala told paramedics that she put the kitty litter around him because he was defecating on himself, had become impossible to care for and was “ruining the house,” police said.
Medical staff at the hospital told police the victim was suffering from urine scalds and bed sores in addition to his broken bones. The ER doctor said the wound on his back would have had to develop over the course of weeks.
Medical personnel say Maijala was also dehydrated and malnourished, which could have left the man easily immunocompromised. The doctor added that his back wounds alone could have killed him.
Troopers say the victim had previously suffered a stroke and was dependent on his wife for care, transportation and management of his finances.
After being struck by the ATV, police say he made it home and laid down on a couch inside. Over the course of the weeks before paramedics took him to the ER, he fell onto the floor where he remained until they found him.
Police say Catherine Maijala began putting kitty litter on him during the last three days he was at the home. He told police he couldn’t call for help because he couldn’t move and his cellphone was out of service.
Police say Catherine “brought the victim food, water, and pain relievers, but never called 911 because the victim was ‘a hard person to deal with.'”
Investigators say she had declined offers of help from Adult Protective Services.
Catherine Maijala faces several charges including felony neglect of a care-dependent person.