- Associated Press - Saturday, December 7, 2019

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - A northeastern Iowa woman has been charged with non-support of a dependent adult in the May death of a 77-year-old woman who had suffered severe burns.

The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Debra Kleppe, 56, of Tripoli, was charged Thursday in the death of Sylvia Schwerin, of Sumner.

The sheriff’s office said it was notified of Schwerin’s death on May 30, a day after she was taken to a community hospital. Her death was classified as suspicious after investigators learned she had been scalded over 20 percent of her body. An autopsy ruled the manner of death as undetermined, but said the burns were a significant contributing factor to her death.

Officials did not detail how Schwerin received the burns, but said they are believed to have occurred by accident on May 10.

Officials say Kleppe never sought professional medical care for the woman’s burns.

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