COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A mother and daughter in an apparent abuse and neglect case had no other family and likely never had visitors who noticed anything suspicious, said a friend of the mother Friday.
Cee Cee Nyce said she and her mother knew Yuta Hagio, 98, and that her mother and Hagio were especially close. Nyce said she last saw Hagio 13 years ago at a birthday party for Nyce's mother.
"I knew Yuta for probably 15 years," Nyce said. "She was very bright with a great sense of humor. How this could happen is beyond my comprehension. Why didn't we keep track?"
Nyce alluded to the Wednesday arrest of Hagio's daughter, Jeanne Hagio, 66, on felony and misdemeanor counts of crimes against an at-risk adult. The daughter also faces a count of animal cruelty. Nyce said she didn't know the daughter well.
Police found Yuta Hagio dead Jan. 13 on her bathroom floor in the Flintridge Drive home she shared with her daughter. According to the arrest document, Yuta Hagio had sores on her back from lying on the floor for an extended time period, and hadn't eaten solid food, bathed or changed clothes in more than a month.
Autopsy results show that Yuta Hagio died from a heart condition and was dehydrated, yet was taking no medication and hadn't seen a doctor in seven years. The house was condemned by the city because of filthy conditions within.
Nyce said she can't understand how Jeanne Hagio thought that was an acceptable level of care.
"I think Jeanne must have been mentally ill," Nyce said. "I can't think of any other reason whey they'd be living like that. Daughters take care of mothers."
Nyce said the situation in the Hagio home may have lasted as long as she knew the family.
"Mother was never invited into the home," Nyce said. "I remember her mentioning that to me. But people are very private."
As Nyce sat looking at photo albums with pictures of Yuta Hagio, she said she doesn't want Hagio's death to be in vain. Nyce wants to get involved in helping to check on senior citizens and ensuring they're not neglected or forgotten.
"If I had known, things would have been different," Nyce said of her friend. "But I didn't know."
Nyce wants to know how her elderly friends are from now on.