Harlan County man arrested for leaving mother in tent in the woods

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

DAYHOIT, Ky. (WYMT) - Deputies say she was freezing and begging for help. A man found a paralyzed woman in a tent in the woods in Harlan County. Officials say she was close to freezing to death.

Harlan County Sheriff's Deputies arrested her son for putting her there.

Harlan County Sheriff's Chaplain John D. Gross found the tent in the woods on Monday while on his daily walk on Possum Hollow. He said a paralyzed woman was inside the tent. Her wheelchair was down the hill.

He says her son was there too, but he left. That is when Gross called for help.

She was crying the whole time, begging me to get her out. She kept crying the same time, saying John D. please get me out and help me. I said Ms. Buell, I will get you out," John D. Gross said.

EMS and Sheriff's Deputies found the woman sitting in water in the cold tent.

She was shivering real bad. When I got there, she was shivering real bad. She was complaining she was freezing and could not get warm. The only thing she had on to keep warm was the clothes she had on," said Sheriff Marvin Lipfird.

It took seven people to get her out of tent and out of the woods. Deputies had to use a chainsaw to clear trees to get her out of the woods.

She went to Harlan ARH where officials say she had signs of hypothermia.

Deputies found and arrested her son, 28 year old Brandon Buell. They charged him with wanton endangerment and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.

Deputies say Brandon Buell told them he was recently evicted from the home where he lived with his mother, so he put her in the tent.

"No one should do their mother that way. You've only got one. Don't do her that way. I'm still tore up over it," said Gross.

"Had he not found her and took the initiative to give us a call, she could have very well frozen to death," said Sheriff Lipfird.

Deputies say the woman is still in Harlan ARH but will survive.

Buell is being held in jail on a $50,000 cash bond.


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