MANDEVILLE – The caretaker of a special needs woman in St. Tammany Parish has been arrested after it was discovered she’d been mistreating the woman she was supposed to care for.
According to the sheriff’s office, the abuse was discovered after the 32-year-old victim’s mother noticed bruises and changes in her behavior. Deputies say the woman slipped a recording device into her daughter’s bag to see if she could confirm her suspicions.
In the recording, investigators say 53-year-old Donna Retif can be heard cursing and shouting at the victim, as well as threatening her with physical harm. The sheriff’s office says the recording goes on for minutes, with the Retif shouting “cruel and unacceptable” utterances.
The victim’s mother says her daughter is unable to speak and suffers from a genetic disorder which causes developmental disabilities and neurological problems. She added that Retif had been caring for her daughter on weekends for the past four years.
Retif was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail for cruelty to persons with infirmities.