NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches woman is in jail after law enforcement officers found her 84-year-old mother emaciated and dehydrated.
Melissa Broussard, 40, was arrested Wednesday and charged with injury to an elderly person in connection with the death of her mother, Elizabeth Inez Cooper.
The Nacogdoches Sheriff's Office said Broussard was taken into custody following a four-month investigation by the sheriff's office and Texas Rangers.
Officials began investigating on Feb. 6 when EMS was dispatched to the 15000 block of Highway 259 for a report of an unresponsive woman. The victim was transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The hospital notified officials about her death and an investigation was launched.
NCSO says Cooper's body was in a state of emaciation and an autopsy later revealed that her death was due to dehydration and emaciation from elder neglect.
The sheriff's office said Broussard was the primary caretaker for her mother and that investigators learned that she had the means to provide health care and other basic essentials but failed to do so.
"Sheriff Bridges stated that Elizabeth Cooper was in horrendous condition at the time of her death which could have been prevented by the suspect. This is a brutal case of neglect that happened over a long time span," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
A warrant was obtained for Broussard's arrest on May 30 and she was taken into custody at her residence. She was then booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.