Elderly woman faces neglect charge after disabled son dies

A 71-year-old woman faces a felony neglect charge and a possible 20-40 year prison sentence after her bedridden, mentally disabled son was brought to a hospital and later died with bed sores impacted with feces, court records state.

A not guilty plea was entered Tuesday for Mary Lee Wilke of Michigan City in LaPorte Superior Court. She’s charged with felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

An adult protective services worker said the blanket Jason Wilke was brought in on "was fused to his skin" when he was taken to a Michigan City hospital, a police affidavit said.

Wilke informed the worker that she when she was cleaning her son "he would scream in pain if she touched him anywhere near" the sores, police said.

Police said Wilke told them her son was "dumped" on her in 2014 after he had been in an ATV accident in Tennessee. She said her son became bedridden in 2019 and had not seen a doctor since due to his Social Security benefits being revoked and not having health insurance.


He died Feb. 1. It wasn’t clear how old he was.

On March 1, Wilke was booked into LaPorte County Jail, where she remains on a $100,000 cash bond, records show.

Online court records did not show an attorney for Wilke.