Marietta Police are asking for help finding a woman suspected of running an illegal nursing home, after both she and the patients disappeared.
From the outside, the home in the 900 block of Laurel Springs Lane looks like any of its well-kept neighbors.
“You just never know what’s going on behind closed doors,” said Marietta Police Officer Dave Baldwin.
As many as a dozen elderly patients were kept in the basement of this home, in rooms with plywood walls and no doors. There was a lavatory – also with no door – and no bathing facilities. There was rotting food in a refrigerator overrun by insects.
“No one deserves to live in conditions like that,” said Baldwin.
Police said the home was operated by 42-year old Raquel Penny. She is now on the run and Baldwin said they have no indication where her patients might have gone.
“It’s important that this woman be brought to justice,” Baldwin said. “It’s also important that we find out exactly who was living here so we can be sure they weren’t transferred to another unlicensed facility.”
The number of such facilities appears to be on the rise in Cobb County. Karen Hallacy at the Cobb Neighborhood Safety Commission blamed that on both the growing number of elderly people in a county that is considered extremely senior-friendly and on economics.
“Financial abuse of the elderly is growing across the country,” she said. “The cost of care is going up. It’s just ripe for abuse.”
If you have information on Raquel Penny or her patients, Baldwin asked that you call Marietta detectives at 770-794-5372 or the Marietta Police Department Tip Line at 770-794-6990.