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WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (AP) -- Authorities have charged a northern New Jersey woman with elderly neglect after they found her mother-in-law living in the basement with the door barricaded by a shovel.

West New York police made the discovery last week while responding to a call about a home overrun with cats.

Capt. Michael Zitt says police found the basement door blocked from the outside, the shovel placed through its handles.

Zitt says 89-year-old Delphine Linden appeared disoriented and couldn't answer basic questions, such as her name.

Police say daughter-in-law Piedad Linden returned and told officers she had blocked the door to keep it from banging open in the wind.

City officials determined the basement was uninhabitable.

It's not clear if the daughter-in-law has an attorney. Phone numbers listed for her were disconnected.


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