Deputies: Tampa man starved wife who weighed 68 pounds at death

Harold Earl Allen, 75. Hillsborough County Jail booking photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man is accused of starving his wife, who weighed a mere 68 pounds when she was found dead in her bed.

Harold Earl Allen, 75, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly or disabled person.

“It appears he wasn’t feeding her,” said Debbie Carter of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.  “There was sufficient food in the home.  And he didn’t seek medical attention for her, either.”

Deputies responded to a 911 call at the couple’s home on 8:17 p.m. on January 6, 2017.

Harold Allen told deputies that his wife, Karen Allen, 74, was dead.

Deputies say Karen Allen appeared extremely underweight and emaciated.  There were also wounds above her right eye, right side of the neck and around her lips.

Harold Allen told deputies that his wife was bedridden and was non-verbal for at least one week prior to her death.

He said he was her sole caregiver and he was responsible for providing food to her. He told deputies that his wife last ate the day before and she had not been seen by a doctor in five years.

Allen said he never contacted medical services for his wife, but regularly sees the doctor for his own medical conditions.

Deputies said there was plenty of food in the home and the kitchen and refrigerator were well stocked with food.  They also determined that the couple did not have financial problems and the home was in order and tidy.

The medical examiner determined she died from a pulmonary thromboembolism due to thrombosis of deep veins of the legs. Immobilization and dehydration were contributing causes of her death.

The medical examiner said a wound to her lip was caused by severe dehydration and malnourishment.

It was also noted that there was nothing in Karen Allen’s stomach which would indicate she recently ate, prior to her death. This was a contradiction to the information provided by Harold Allen.

The couple had been married for 56 years.

“It’s disgusting,” said neighbor Donna Beres.  “I have a 90-year-old mother.  I would never do that.”

Allen was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with bond set at $15,000.

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