By Shereen Siewert

A Birnamwood man is facing criminal neglect charges after a 72-year-old family member was allegedly left lying on the floor in her own feces and urine for days.

Police say the woman, who was transported to a Wausau hospital after she was discovered, was covered in sores consistent with lying in the same position for a long period of time. One of the woman’s children became increasingly worried about her care and was unable to check on her after testing positive for COVID-19. Ultimately, the woman’s son called police in October.

Larry Uttecht, 71, now faces felony charges of intentionally subjecting an at-risk individual to abuse, causing bodily harm. The felony charge was filed Feb. 3 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Uttecht told police he had a bad back and had difficulty lifting the woman from the floor where she lay for about five days. He allegedly tried to give her food while she was on the floor but the attempt was not successful, police said. An EMT who responded to the woman’s home said she was surprised Uttecht could not lift the woman off the floor because she was such a tiny woman.

Uttecht allegedly told police he “goofed up” by not calling for help from family members or medical professionals, but thought he could handle the situation on his own.

Uttecht, who is not in custody, will be summoned into court Feb. 19 to make an initial appearance.