She neglected her mother the way some people neglect a dog.
But Roslyn Leitz had no record. She had plenty of remorse. And she had been overwhelmed by a mother who stubbornly refused to go to the doctor.
Monday, Douglas County District Judge Thomas Otepka sentenced Leitz, 54, to two years of probation for abuse of a vulnerable adult. She could have received up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the charge.
The vulnerable adult was her mother, Ruth Leitz.
Ruth's stubbornness — combined with Roslyn's ineffectiveness in dealing with her mother — led to a sordid scene in January.
Roslyn Leitz called 911 after her 80-year-old mother was found unresponsive in the house they shared at 6158 Elm St. in south-central Omaha.
Authorities found an emaciated Ruth Leitz sunken into a recliner in the living room. A large pile of dog feces was on the floor. The toilets were overflowing with human waste. Ruth's bedroom was piled with dozens of dirty adult diapers.
“Roslyn told (detectives) that she is not the best housekeeper, ” an officer wrote. “The house was unfit for humans, as well as her pet dog.”
Ruth Leitz's body temperature was 86 degrees, and she had no discernible pulse or blood pressure. Her hair was matted, excess skin was growing under her face and neck, and her fingernails were so long that they curled like banana peels.
Ruth Leitz was taken to a hospital. She partially recovered before dying in April.
Prosecutor Katie Benson has said authorities weren't able to definitively connect Ruth Leitz's death to the neglect.
Elder-care specialists have held up the case as an example of how grown children need to ask for help in caring for elderly loved ones.
In one of two other recent cases, an Omaha man received three to five years in prison for manslaughter in the neglect that led to the death of his mother. Another Omaha man received two years of probation after authorities found his mother severely malnourished and suffering from a maggot-infested bedsore.