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She didn’t treat the wound of her Autistic daughter before a deadly infection. Now, she won’t spend a day in prison

In Europe
June 04, 2024

An Indiana woman has avoided prison time in the 2023 death of her 12-year-old autistic daughter, who died from an infection while living in a filthy, vermin-covered home.

On Friday, Rosa Hargrave, 35, accepted a deal from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one count of neglect resulting in serious bodily injured for the death of her daughter, who is also named Rosa Hargrave but went by the nickname “May May.”

Under the agreement, Hargrave will serve three years on home detention in a group home or approved residential placement, and has been ordered to take parenting classes. She will serve an additional four years on probation.

Hargrave brought May May to Riley Children’s Hospital on February 28, 2023, for a wound across her upper back.

Doctors examining the child observed the “oozing” wound was “severely infected” and dripping a “yellowish-colored substance,” according to police documents obtained by Law & Crime. In the ER, the child also began to vomit blood.

Rosa Hargrave, an Indiana woman who pleaded guilty to neglect resulting in serious bodily over the death of her daughter in March 2023, has avoided prison time for her crime. (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Rosa Hargrave, an Indiana woman who pleaded guilty to neglect resulting in serious bodily over the death of her daughter in March 2023, has avoided prison time for her crime. (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

The wound was from a skin graft, performed about two years earlier to treat necrotizing fasciitis, according to officials. It was supposed to be cleaned daily.

“It was clear the wound was not cleaned or managed properly,” police wrote, noting the cut appeared to be entirely “untreated.”

Hargrave told police investigating the case that her daughter was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, asthma and was nonverbal. Her wound became infected when she was brought to the hospital.

May May died on March 2, 2023, a death that coroners concluded was a homicide by neglect.

The mother also told officers the skin graft wound was from a gallbladder rupture, but an autopsy showed that May May’s gallbladder had never been removed, though her appendix had been, Fox 59 reports.

Officers searching Hargrave’s home found further cause for concern.

Inside, the house was in “extremely poor and unsanitary condition,” with “numerous mice/rodents, cockroaches, bugs, feces, and half-eaten and rotten food throughout the entire house,” police noted.

The vermin inside the house appeared accustomed to living with people and “unafraid of any human interaction.”

In May May’s bedroom, the room was covered with rodent feces and an attached bathroom lacked running water, authorities stated.

Officers also found four other children living in the home, who reportedly had rashes and matted dirt on their bodies. One child showed signs of bruising and was wearing a heavily soiled diaper. Two of the children belonged to Hargrave and her boyfriend, Charles Turner, and two others belonged to May May’s aunt, Felicia Hargrave.

Turner and Felicia Hargrave previously pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent in connection with May May’s death and also avoided prison sentences, instead both were ordered to spend over two years on probation.

The Independent has contacted the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for comment on the plea agreements.

An online obituary describes May May as a “girly girl” who loved all things pink.

“She was absolutely a Grandpa’s and Grandma’s girl,” according to the page. “May May wore her heart on her sleeve, and you always knew what she was feeling.”

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