Police say ‘roach infestation’ part of what led to woman’s death; husband and daughter charged

VALLEY, ALABAMA — Police say a roach infestation at an Alabama home was a contributing cause to an elderly woman’s death, according to WTVM.

The woman’s husband and daughter have now been arrested on neglect and manslaughter charges.

Walter Alfred Hawkins, 74, and Christy Lee Hawkins, 45, were arrested in Valley, Alabama Wednesday. Valley is on the Georgia/Alabama border north of Columbus.

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Police said Janice Ramsey Hawkins, 72, was found dead in the family’s living room on March 16. The father and daughter were at home at the time the body was found. Police said they requested an investigation based on the deplorable living conditions inside.

According to the autopsy, Hawkins cause of death was failure to thrive with the complications of diabetes. The coroner also listed a foul odor and roach infestation, dirty clothes, dehydration, malnutrition and sunken eyes and prominent ribs as factors in her death.


Investigators found that Hawkins had not gone to a doctor since 2019 and none of her nine prescriptions had been filled since 2018.

It’s unclear how long she had been dead when the body was discovered.

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Both the father and daughter were charged with first-degree elder abuse and neglect while Walter Hawkins was also charged with manslaughter.

On May 4, investigators received the completed autopsy report. According to police, the report stated that Hawkins’ cause of death was failure to thrive associated with complications of diabetes.

The father and daughter were both taken to the Chambers County jail.