Man locked in room for 2 years; living conditions called horrible; wife faces charges

Living conditions called horrible; warrant issued for wife’s arrest

A Greenwood man stumbled out of his home and was found by a neighbor, covered in feces and extremely thin.

The man told police he had been locked in a bedroom for two years, was only fed once a day and that the room was covered in feces and trash.

The man’s wife, Darlene Dickinson, 69, Greenwood, was charged with two counts of neglect.

In May, a neighbor found Hugh Dickinson sitting on his porch in the 1000 block of Paradise Court. She contacted the fire department, who called police, according to the charging documents.

Hugh Dickinson told police his wife had gone to the hospital, and he had made his way out of the home. Police went into the home and described the bedroom where Hugh was staying as being horrible, with trash and feces on the floor and bed, flies all over and old food throughout the room.

The rest of the home appeared clean, police said. And Hugh Dickinson told them that when cleaners came to the home, they never came into his room, the charging documents said.

Hugh Dickinson told police he’d had a stroke in 2000 that left him disabled and unable to drive a vehicle. He and his wife had moved to Greenwood from Las Vegas in 2006.

Three years ago, his leg had to be amputated after he developed a sore that became infected and then got gangrene, he told police.

He told police he had only been out of the bedroom once in the last two years. The room was so infested with flies that he would cover his head with a blanket so he could sleep. He also told police he had not received any medication in those two years, and that he got one meal from Meals on Wheels and a soda each day, charging documents said.

After police found him, he moved in with his son and daughter. He had initially weighed about 100 pounds, and had gained about 27 pounds by July, the documents said.

Police interviewed Darlene Dickinson, but details on what she told police were not available on Tuesday.

A warrant was issued for her arrest on Tuesday.

Author photo
Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.