ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Three people have been charged in connection with an elderly abuse and neglect case in Dougherty County that involved an unlicensed personal care home.
This as state and local law enforcement leaders are thanking the public for reporting the suspicious activity.
"We want to thank the citizens for seeing something and saying something. This is the way to make your community safe," said Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards Thursday afternoon.
Edwards' office, as well as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the attorney general are prosecuting the case together.
Edwards said the three groups believe the people of Albany helped bring light to what the state believes was an abusive situation.
"These victims where in desperate circumstances. I think ultimately not only are we bringing people to justice but in this instance, people's lives might have been saved," said Edwards.
Prosecutors said Michelle Nicole Oliver was running an unlicensed personal care home on Flint side Drive in Albany, with little food and unsanitary rooms.
"Vomit was on the floor, urine was on the floor. They were just sick," said Demetrice Russ as she described what she witnessed months ago.
She said she and her neighbors couldn't believe what they were seeing. Often times she said she would have to feed the people. That's when she called the Division of Family and Children Services and the Albany Police Department to report what she was seeing.
"I kept calling. I never gave up," explained Russ. "Because I wanted them to get the help they properly needed."
The GBI raided the facility in September and arrested Oliver. Since then Cynthia Riley and Harold Hunt have also been charged. All three are facing 10 counts including abuse and neglect.
The lengthy indictment reveals the three had been bringing in disabled adults since November of 2016.
The indictment said the three would put people in living situations with little food and improper medical care. They'd collect their social security and government benefits and pocket the majority of the money for themselves.
"It was a very comprehensive racketeering organization," explained Edwards.
Russ said she's glad to see justice is being served. She's hoping as people see abuse, they'll report it.
"I think if y'all see this, y'all think about your loved ones because everyone needs help, everyone needs a hand," said Russ.
The investigation is still ongoing.