A “paranoid” 73-year-old southern Minnesota woman who did not believe in modern medicine let her ailing older sister languish in bed on the family farm where the two lived their entire lives and eventually die, according to felony charges.
Shirley Ann Kraemer, of High Forest Township, near Stewartville, was charged last week in Olmsted County District Court with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult in the Nov. 9 death of Beverly J. Kraemer, 76.
When emergency personnel were dispatched to the home three days earlier, they found the sister bedridden and her skin fused to the sheets, according to the criminal complaint.
A sheriff’s deputy put on a facemask and other protective garb before entering the home, the complaint continued. Several of the woman’s ribs and a pelvic bone were exposed, the court document added.
Shirley Kraemer said her sister had been bedridden for the past year and was found by doctors 10 years ago to be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis that turned her swollen feet black, the charges read.
The deputy “gathered that Kraemer and [the] victim were suspicious of Mayo Clinic and evidently did not follow through with treatment,” the complaint noted.
Shirley Kraemer, who was charged by summons, told KTTC-TV in Rochester that she and her sister lived on the farm their whole lives and that “a lot” of what is being alleged is untrue.
A neighbor told authorities that he visited the Kraemers several days before medical personnel arrived. He said the sisters “did not believe in modern medicine, and [he] described them as ‘paranoid,’ ” according to the charges.
Medical personnel determined that Beverly Kraemer did not eat in the two days before she died, had wounds left untreated, and was receiving no care or medications, the complaint read.
Beverly Kraemer died at Mayo Clinic’s St. Marys Hospital in Rochester from a host of ailments, including septic shock and various skin and bone infections, according to an autopsy.