Pennsylvania woman accused of keeping her sister, 53, in wooden cage with "dirty" mattress, officials say

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AN Pennsylvania woman was loaded earlier this month, imprisoning her sister in a wooden cage, with only a "dirty" mattress and almost no medical care, officials said.

Leona Biser, 51, claimed she was looking after her 53-year-old sister, Loretta Lancaster, when authorities found her in an "artificial" cage in the living room of Biser's "deplorable" home in Washington County in January. 15, the Pennsylvania Attorney General said in a press release.

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"This defendant said she looked after her sister when, in fact, the house was in a deplorable state, without running water and the victim was not receiving the prescription drugs," said attorney general Josh Shapiro.

The investigators said they found Lancaster "unkempt" and wearing "extremely dirty clothes". WPXI-TV reported. A baby bottle containing what appeared to be milk was also found in the cage, officials said.

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Leona Biser kept her sister in a cage with only a dirty mattress and almost no medical assistance, officials said.

Leona Biser kept her sister in a cage with only a dirty mattress and almost no medical assistance, officials said.
(Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office)

Biser was accused of negligence on the part of a care dependent, abuse of a care dependent, putting someone else in recklessly at risk, illegal restraint and false imprisonment. She showed up in court Friday, the station reported.

Lancaster suffered from a urinary tract infection and rhabdomyolysis, a muscle breakdown that can be caused by an infection when she was taken home, officials said. She was treated at a hospital, where officials said her condition was improving.

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Authorities were working to help Lancaster, who, according to his family, had the mental capacity of a child, for at least three months, according to documents obtained by the station.

An arrest warrant said that an Adult Protective Services agent visited Biser's home for the first time on August 19 and found Lancaster "locked in a wooden cage," the station reported. The agent worked to secure Lancaster's guardianship, but did not return home until November 1.

The prosecutor's office was not involved until November 22, when officers took Lancaster from the home in an ambulance to receive treatment at a hospital, the warrant said.

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"We fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves," said Shapiro in the press release. "And our agents have ensured that the victim receives the necessary care and will no longer have to suffer daily living in a cage."

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