A Lancaster County woman is behind bars charged with murder in the death of her 88 year old mother. East Lampeter Township Police say 66-year-old Janice Harmes is responsible for the January 6, 2013 death of her mother Janet Bastendorf. An investigation by East Lampeter Township Police, the County Coroner’s Office and the District Attorney’s Elderly Abuse Unit determined that Harmes was the sole caretaker for her mother and failed to provide treatment or care for a period of about 10 days leading up to Bastendorf’s death.
Autopsy results the day after her death revealed that Bastendorf died from complications of Sepsis, which is a severe condition caused by infection. The Sepsis and a large Decubitus Ulcer were determined to be a direct result of Harmes allowing her mother to sit in a chair wearing a diaper filled with feces and urine without moving for approximately 10 days. The Coroner’s Office ruled Bastendorf’s manner of death a Homicide.
Harmes was arrested and arraigned this morning and committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.