The 46-year-old victim's family requested a welfare check after they became worried about his well-being

By Harriet Sokmensuer
November 13, 2020 03:10 PM
Credit: Racine County Sheriff

A Wisconsin woman is accused of allowing her disabled adult son to die on the bathroom floor after he fell out of his wheelchair.

Cheryl Christensen, 60, has been charged with negligently subjecting an at-risk individual to abuse causing death, resisting or obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct, according to Racine County Jail records.

According to a criminal complaint reviewed by the Journal Times and Racine County Eye, on Oct. 28, authorities conducted a welfare check on the unidentified 46-year-old victim after his family became worried for his well-being.

Christensen had been her son's caretaker since he was struck by a vehicle at 14 years old and left with severe physical and brain injuries, the Journal Times and Racine County Eye report.

On their first attempt to check on the man, authorities saw a sign on the door that read, “On vacation, please respect that. Also, 7 months and no supplies, you are fired Human services," the Eye reports.

Two hours later, authorities returned and were accompanied by the victim's family members, including his sister and aunt. When police attempted to enter the home, Christensen began screaming at the group before allegedly attempting to barricade the door.

Once inside the home, police discovered red paint covered the walls and floors, including a red cross painted across the TV and a red “X” on every door. As they made their way through the home, officers called out to Christensen, with no response. When they went into a bathroom, they allegedly discovered the victim's body on the floor under a blanket.

Christensen was taken into custody after a failed attempt of barricading herself in a room. During an interview with investigators, she allegedly admitted to not calling 911 after her son fell from his bed days earlier. Instead, unable to lift him up due to his size, she allegedly said she gave him pain medication and dragged him into the bathroom.

Christensen allegedly told the investigator her son “deserved to pass away in a peaceful manner and she did not want him to die in a hospital,” according to the complaint reviewed by the Journal Times and Racine County Eye.

However, the victim's family told police that a month before his death he had been given a good bill of health during a doctor's visit. He was last seen alive on Oct. 19.

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When asked about the red paint, Christensen said it was in a response to her home having "a mad energy to it" and that she believed there were “demons or something going on," the complaint allegedly states.

Her daughter told investigators she believed her mother was “suffering from some type of emotional distress or mental breakdown as she had been sending significant amounts of money to a preacher in Texas,” according to the complaint.

Christensen is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18. It is unclear whether she has an attorney at this time.