TUCKAHOE, N.Y. (CBS 2) – Police in Westchester County think elder abuse was behind the death of a 70-year-old woman. Her own daughter is now under arrest, accused of brutally beating her own mother.
Police said 47-year-old Denise Castracucco badly beat her frail mother, Dorothy Carraturo, inside the Tuckahoe home they shared. The mother died at an area hospital, reports CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez.
“There was bruising to the victim’s arms and body, and she had sustained a broken hip,” one police officer said.
Friends said they can’t believe Castracucco is to blame.
“She’s someone I call my friend, and she’s not like this monster like they’re saying on the TV,” a friend identified as “Barbara” said.
“She does not have a malicious bone in her body,” another friend said.
Police said Carraturo’s son discovered his injured mother on the floor of her home. The elderly woman told emergency responders that she slipped and fell, but police said Carraturo later told another son a much different story.
Once the victim was in the hospital, she confided with one of her sons that the injuries were not from a fall, but from being assaulted by the daughter.
Police believe Castracucco was drunk during the alleged assault.
Neighbor Marlene Small said Castracucco would never lay a hand on her mother.
“What I know of Denise and her mother, it was a nice mother-daughter relationship,” she said.
Joy Solomon runs the Center for Elder Abuse and Prevention in Riverdale, a shelter for senior victims. Solomon said if Castracucco was abusing her frail mother, it’s very possible that no one would even notice.
“One of the realities of abuse is that abusers tend to isolate victims, to keep services away and to keep the community away so that the violence can continue,” Solomon said.
Police said they don’t know what triggered the alleged attack – or if it happened at all. For now, Castracucco remains locked up and could face murder charges.
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