Allegheny County

Forward Twp. police investigating horrific case of elder abuse

FORWARD TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Forward Township police are investigating a horrific case of elder abuse.

“She may have only taken two showers in the last 12 years,” said officer Zlatan Avdic.

The daughter of the 76-year-old victim tried to make contact with her mother, according to police. The woman was left in the care of her ex-daughter-in-law, Lori Giacomelli, and Giacomelli’s two adult children.

When other family members went to the victim’s home in Forward Township to check on her, they found the woman with matted hair and said she was unable to lift her head. She was found sitting on a couch in front of a broken window with a cardboard cover over it.

“They stated that (the) couch, too, was soaked with urine and feces,” Avdic said.

The victim had 6-inch toenails and head lice. Investigators said she’s now in the hospital battling COVID-19 and pneumonia. The woman, listed in poor condition, had been struggling with health issues for quite some time.

“When EMS arrived to the scene, they asked her what year it was, and she informed them it was 1949,” Avdic said.

Police charged Giacomelli and her son, Nicholas Giacomelli, with neglect of care for a dependent person. Channel 11 was there as a third person was also arrested: Rachel Giacomelli.

“It’s very disturbing that people could treat someone like this, especially around the holidays. It’s very disturbing. It’s one of the worst cases I’ve seen,” Avdic said.

When police interviewed Lori Giacomelli they asked her, if the victim were to die, would she be responsible? She responded yes. Investigators added Lori Giacomelli was also using the victim’s bank account to make purchases, including online shopping and getting her nails done.