SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake motel owner and his wife have been charged with manslaughter in the death of the motel owner's mother, who police say died under deplorable conditions.
Jae Ju Jun, 67, and Lib Bun Jun, 64, both of Salt Lake City, were charged in 3rd District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony.
When police found 96-year-old Hyo Sin's body in a room at the Overniter Motel, 1500 W. North Temple, on Feb. 14, she weighed just 76 pounds, according to charging documents. Sin was Jae Jun's mother.
"As Ms. Sin's body was being removed from the bed, bedding was found to be adhered to her body, the charges state.
A medical examiner determined Sin's cause of death to be "chronic neglect," bed sores, dehydration and inanition (exhaustion caused by lack of food and water), the charges state.
The mattress Sin was found on was stained with urine and feces, her toilet did not flush, the bathtub did not drain, the room did not have heat, there were no smoke detectors and evidence of a previous fire, and "when inspectors turned on the water in the bathtub the water came out orange," according to charging documents.
The Juns told investigators that they had assigned the motel's maintenance worker to feed and clean Sin, the charges state. But the maintenance worker told prosecutors that he only speaks Spanish and Sin only spoke Korean. He said it was also up to the Juns to provide medical care to their relative.
"(The worker) tried to communicate with Hyo by signing to her in regards to whether she wanted to eat or drink water," according to a search warrant affidavit filed earlier this year. "(He) would feed her bites of oatmeal, which was the only food in Hyo's room. He would also give her spoonfuls of water."
According to the warrant, the Juns occasionally changed the "bedding that Hyo laid on (and urinated and defecated on)," but otherwise did not care for her.