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Woman charged with locking disabled sister in closet for years

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-17 16:09:07-04

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) — It’s an extreme case of abuse that is hard to comprehend.

Police said they discovered a 44-year-old woman who is deaf and had other “cognitive and physical impairments” had been locked in a small closet at a Michigan home.

They say she was forced to live there by her own sister, Candy Lawson. She was given very little food and water and just a bucket to use as a bathroom. Police  suspect it could have been going on for six or seven years.

WNEM says a handyman doing work at the home is the one who made this grim discovery and alerted police.

“The victim was taken into protective custody and placed with adult protective services,” said Deana Finnegan, the prosecuting attorney.

The victim, although unable to speak, was able to communicate to police that she wanted out of that closet.

“Right away, they could determine she was deaf so the officer wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘Do you want to come out?’ and she said, “Yes,” said Corunna Police Chief Nick Chiros.

Candy Lawson, 44, of Corunna, faces charges of unlawful imprisonment and vulnerable adult abuse.