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Daughter Rescues Adoptive Sister Bicycle Chained To Bed By Mom In PA: Affidavit

A Western Pennsylvania mom was caught by her biological daughter having chained her adoptive daughter to a bed with bicycle chains for approximately five days, according to court documents obtained by Daily Voice. 

Mary Lou Dewitt who is accused of chaining her care-dependent adoptive daughter to a bed for days following months of neglect, Pennsylvania State Police explained in the affidavit of probable cause. 

Mary Lou Dewitt who is accused of chaining her care-dependent adoptive daughter to a bed for days following months of neglect, Pennsylvania State Police explained in the affidavit of probable cause. 

Photo Credit: Fayette County Prison

Marylou Dewitt, 53 of Scottdale, was arrested following a police pursuit near Pittsburgh ending near the Fort Pitt Bridge, according to a release by the Pennsylvania State Police. 

Dewitt's adult biological daughter contacted the police after she went to Sheetz for midnight snacks and returned home to hear screaming from an upstairs bedroom — where she found her care-dependent 22-year-old adoptive sister chained with "bicycled chains" at her hips and neck, tethering her to a wooden bedframe, as detailed in the affidavit of probable cause. 

Before freeing her sister, she filmed the scene and took photos with her phone, state police explained. The biological daughter located the keys to her sister’s chains in a lunchbox, removed the chains, and put them back in the lunchbox, according to the affidavit.

That's when Dewitt came to the scene to "clean up the room" and grabbed the lunchbox, and when her daughters attempted to stop her — she fled, as stated in the affidavit.

The sisters contacted the police and waited for them to arrive, both being interviewed, confirming the abuse. The Pennsylvania State Police said the call they received was for "a female in distress in which her mother is acting erratic" in the 700 block of Stauffer Street in Upper Tyrone Township.

The police noted the adoptive daughter said she had been chained to the bed since May 24 and “has not let her shower since February or brush her teeth." Additionally, she was denied her anti-seizure medication, according to the affidavit. The adoptive daughter has also been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and ADHD, the police explained in the affidavit.

At the time of the sisters' interviews, Dewitt started “sending suicidal messages to family members" and her phone's GPS pinged in Monroeville so law enforcement began to canvas the area. Then it pinged near Pittsburgh and a traffic stop was attempted. Finally, Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Webb got her on the phone and convinced her to let the troopers take her in. 

Dewitt was charged with the following according to her court docket:

  • Felony Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person. 

  • Felony Endangers the Welfare of a Care-Dependent Person.

  • Misdemeanor Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person. 

  • Misdemeanor Simple Assault.

  • Misdemeanor Recklessly Endangering Another Person. 

  • Misdemeanor False Imprisonment.

  • Misdemeanor Tampering With/Fabricate Evidence. 

  • Misdemeanor Unlawful Restraint or Serious Bodily Injury.

  • Summary Harassment - Subject Another to Physical Contact. 

She was denied bail as she has been deemed a “threat to [her]self and threat to victim," Magisterial District Judge Richard Kasunic II noted in her court docket following her preliminary arraignment on Wednesday, May 29 at 9:25 a.m. She has been held in the Fayette County Prison. 

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled before Judge Kasunic for June 12 at 10:30 a.m., according to her court docket. 

A search warrant of Dewitt's vehicle to locate the lunchbox with the chains is pending, the police said. The video and photographs were entered into evidence.

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