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Iowa City woman charged in death of elderly woman

Iowa – An Iowa City woman has been charged in the February death of an elderly woman she was caring for.

Tara Edwards, 54, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Dependent Adult Abuse-Intentional Serious Injury for the death of 72-year-old Marla Zimmer.

On February 14, 2020, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office responded to 21 Apollo Place in Iowa City for an unresponsive individual. When they arrived, they found Zimmer dead at the residence.

Investigators learned that Zimmer and Edwards lived together at the same residence and that Edwards had been Zimmer’s primary caretaker since 2014. Zimmer suffered from physical and mental ailments that prevented her from caring for herself.

An autopsy conducted by the Johnson County Medical Examiner determined Zimmer’s cause of death was acute mixed bacterial pneumonia and the manner of death was homicide.

Investigators say Edwards failed to provide Zimmer her prescribed medications, failed to take her to medical appointments and failed to give her prescribed nutritional supplements prescribed by her doctor.

As a result, authorities say, this led to emaciation, undernutrition, and significant weight loss, which contributed to Zimmer’s death.

Dependent Adult Abuse-Intentional Serious Injury in violation of Iowa Code section 235B.20(2). a class C Felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000.

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