Bemidji woman charged with neglect

BEMIDJI– A Bemidji woman was charged with the criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult earlier this week.

The woman, 47-year-old Karen Gannetta, made her first appearance in court yesterday with another hearing scheduled for next week.

According to the criminal complaint, Gannetta is identified as the parent and personal care worker of the victim, and a doctor found that the victim had bruises on every part of their body.

Another practitioner confirmed that those bruises were consistent with abuse and neglect. The practitioner also found signs of pressure ulcers, dry cracked lips with blood present, and lethargy.

A Bemidji detective responded to the Hillcrest Manor home Oct. 2, and observed beer cans in the kitchen, no bedding on the vulnerable adult’s bed, the strong smell of ammonia and vomit on the floor.

The vulnerable adult weighed about 175 pounds two months ago, according to Gannetta, but the detective estimated that the vulnerable adult weighed less than 90 pounds.

The vulnerable adult was transported to the hospital via ambulance, and at the time of the detective’s initial visit, was unconscious. EMS staff questioned whether the victim was alive before they eventually detected breathing.

At the hospital, the vulnerable adult was able to convey to social services that Gannetta hits them, makes them crawl to the bathroom and denies access to family members. They indicated they used to be able to use a cane, but cannot walk at all anymore.

Karen Gannetta, 47, Bemidji. Photo courtesy of Beltrami County Jail.

Other notable observations in the victim, according to the complaint, include the presence of muscle wasting, dermatitis neglecta (condition from skin that is not cleaned properly), and impacted debris under the fingernails.

Gannetta was placed under arrest on Oct. 15,  with conditions in the home reported to be even worse than before.

Unconditional bail was set at $25,000.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.


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