A 97-year-old Delaware County woman died after her son and daughter-in-law allegedly allowed her to live in a feces-strewn house without heat and water for more than two months.
Kori Alene Jeffries, also known as Kori Alene White, 33, and David Ray Jeffries, 65, both of rural Jay are charged in Delaware County District Court with exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult after former conviction of two or more felonies.
They are being held on a reduced bail of $100,000 each in connection in the death of Geneva Jeffries, who was found dead at her residence on Dec. 17, 2018, according to an arrest affidavit.
The elderly victim, who apparently had not been bathed in two months, was found partially-clothed and laying on the floor, next to her bed and portable toilet, the affidavit states.
Her clothes and bedding were “heavily soiled with what appeared to be human feces” and the area beside the bed was littered with trash, bottles and a small trash can that appeared to be used as a toilet “for a long time.”
The portable toilet was used as a side table, the affidavit states.
Charges may be amended after the Delaware County District Attorney’s office receives the report from the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's office.
Amy Elliott, state medical examiner’s spokeswoman, said Jeffries' cause of death is pending.
About the charges
Kori Jeffries told investigators she saw her mother-in-law the previous afternoon and she appeared normal.
David Jeffries told sheriff’s deputies he had been ill for the past two months and his wife had been in charge of caring for his mother.
The couple lived in a mobile home on his mother’s property, the affidavit states.
Investigators find more problems ranging from a refrigerator containing expired milk and food dating back to March 2018 to dog urine and feces throughout the residence, the affidavit states.
Other oddities investigators noticed when they were called to the residence were multiple open windows as well as a glass sliding door.
Deputies at the scene noted the temperature inside the residence was cooler than the outside temperature of 60 degrees, the affidavit states.
The National Weather Service reported the minimum temperature for the night before was 29 degrees, the affidavit states.
When questioned by investigators, Kori Jeffries said the windows were opened the day before and they couldn’t close them, the affidavit states.
Kori Jeffries told investigators her mother-in-law never complained of being cold and that she had blankets. She later allegedly admitted to investigators the blankets weren’t enough to keep her warm.
The last time David Jeffries said he had seen his mother was in November and hadn't noticed whether the power was off, the affidavit states.
The couple spoke with each other in the interview room where David Jeffries first learned the power to his mother’s house was turned off, the affidavit states.
David Jeffries asked Kori if his mother had frozen to death, the affidavit states.
Kori Jeffries told investigators she called the power company and had them turn off service after finding her mother-in-law’s body. However power company’s records showed the utilities were turned off Oct. 12, the affidavit states.
Investigators learned the residence didn't have central heat and air and the only source of heat would have been from electric heaters. With no power, the source of water, a well, would have been inoperable, the affidavit states.
A caretaker told investigators she helped give the victim a bath around the middle of October and she still had power to the residence which was covered with dog feces and urine. The caretaker cleaned up the animal waste and also changed the victim's bedding, the affidavit states.
Dr. Roland Bland told investigators he and his wife attempted to see the victim the weekend of Dec. 15, but Kori refused to let them come into the elder Jeffries residence, saying “she didn’t want people she didn’t know in the house with Geneva,” the affidavit states.
In the past they had made monthly visits and described the living conditions to investigators as “not good.”
The Blands reported seeing the victim in November between Halloween and Thanksgiving and “there was no light or heat in the house” and “they complained of the odor of dog feces and urine” but they did not see any soiled clothing, the affidavit states.
Kori and David Jeffries had sold his mother’s property a year earlier for $25,000 to a neighbor with $8,000 up front and $2,000 held in escrow. They were allowed to live on the property until Jeffries died.
On the day Jeffries’s body was found, Kori and David had approached the buyers for the remaining money in escrow, which was around $1,000. The reason they had sold the property was “for money to have Kori released from jail,” the affidavit states.
Kori Jeffries confessed she had a gambling problem and her mother-in-law’s social security benefits were used for food and clothing and her electric bill was as much as $300 to $400. She admitted to also using the elder Jeffries’ money to purchase cigarettes, the affidavit states.
A review of bank records from October through December 2018 showed $765.25 was withdrawn at ATM machines at Riverbend Casino in Wyandotte and the Choctaw Casino in Poteau, $10.95 at the Mill Liquor Store, and $63.90 spent on Google Playtika, which is an online gaming site and $5.39 at Redbox DVD rentals.
Kori and David Jeffries are set to return to court on Tuesday, Feb. 19, online records show.