Ankeny Caregiver Charged In Elderly Man's Death

Photo: Polk County Jail

(Polk County, IA) -- An Ankeny woman is charged in an elderly man's death in April of this year. The Polk County Sheriff's Office says 61-year-old Dianna Becker-Abeyta's actions led to the death of 73-year-old Ray Crammond of Ankeny. The Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after D-H-S caseworkers reported Crammond's living conditions were extremely dirty and un-kept, describing the conditions as "devastating."

Detectives say Becker-Abeyta was Crammond's live-in caretaker, but was not licensed and did not work for a care facility or company.

Investigators say she used Crammond's money for things other than his care.

In June of 2023, Becker-Abeyta was arrested for Financial Exploitation of an Older Individual 1st Offense and Neglect of a Dependent Person. Autopsy results indicated the cause of Mr. Crammond’s death was Pneumonia due to Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection and the manner of his death was a homicide.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detectives then presented all the evidence in the case to the Polk County Attorney’s Office. It was determined the inadequate care provided by the suspect resulted in the death of the victim and on October 18, 2023, Detectives filed a warrant for Becker-Abeyta for the charge of Murder 2nd, Dependent adult abuse.

On October 25, 2023, Detectives arrested Becker-Abeyta who had been released from custody on the previous charges. Becker-Abeyta will be booked into the Polk County Jail, awaiting her next court date.

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