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Police: Man left elderly mom in squalor

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Lee Drennen, 57, of the 500 block of E. Parish St., was charged with failure to provide for a functionally impaired person, a fourth-degree felony.   


A home health care nurse reported Drennen’s 85-year-old mother missing Monday evening, after she couldn’t find the woman and Drennen didn’t know her whereabouts despite living with her, according to a Sandusky police report.


What began as a search for a missing person soon turned into a criminal investigation.

After calling several local nursing homes, police learned the woman had been at The Meadows for four days, following a stay at the hospital for a cut and broken ribs, the report said.

The woman sustained those injuries after she got stuck while sitting in her bathroom; she yelled for Drennen to help her for an hour, but he never came to her aid. Only when she used a medicine cabinet for support and it toppled onto her did Drennen walk into the room, according to the report.

And instead of helping, he allegedly began yelling at her.

“You (expletive), you made the mess, you clean it up” Drennen said, according to the report.

The pain medicine hospital staff gave the woman was missing when she was admitted into The Meadows, the report said, and some of her other prescriptions had expired.

The woman told police Drennen would “get rough” when he dealt with her. He also would refuse to help clean her adult hygiene supplies and would let her linger in waste. On more than one occasion, the woman was forced to call her home healthcare nurse to care for her.

Adult Protective Services workers have received complaints about Drennen, but his mother never indicated he was neglecting or abusing her, the report said.

Just last week, a nurse had to return to Drennen’s home, off the clock, because the woman said she was hungry and no one would feed her, the report said.

In October, a police report was filed in which Drennen allegedly threw his mother onto a bed. The woman denied it, and Drennen said his mother was fighting him while he tried to help her.

In another report from Jan. 11, Drennen allegedly took the woman’s debit card and checkbook to buy food, but didn’t return them.

Drennen currently has power of attorney over the woman, a police officer said.

Sandusky prosecutor Lynne Gast-King decided to charge Drennen with a felony, given the injuries his mother sustained. He remains in the Erie County jail without bond.

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