LUDLOW, Ky. – A neighbor says she didn’t even know a teenage boy with muscular dystrophy lived across the street. Now she is shocked and disgusted because police say the boy’s mother and grandparents neglected him to death.
"It's horrific. It's horrible. It's disgusting," Stacy Leach told WCPO on Wednesday.
Now Leach says she wants her neighbors to suffer like their son and grandson did.
Leach said she thought the adults living on the other side of Lake Street were “great people.” She said she would sit on the porch with them and take them to the grocery store.
“I had no idea. I used to sit on the porch over there ... and we would talk about the moles in the yard. We have done numerous things for them and I just didn’t know he was in there,” Leach said.
“I was really upset. I couldn’t believe that all these years I have known these people … they wouldn’t tell me that there was somebody else living in that home.”
Leach said it hurt to think of Joseph Bishop's suffering. She said she would have helped if she only knew.
According to police, Joseph's muscular dystrophy kept the 18-year-old bedridden for the last two years. Joseph came to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital last week with sores on his arms, legs and back. The wounds were so large that his muscles and bones were exposed.
Hospital staff alerted Ludlow police, but Joseph was dead by the time they arrived.
Joseph’s mother, Jamie Bishop, is charged with second-degree manslaughter. So are Joseph’s grandparents, Raymond and Sharon Martin.
“I just want them to go to jail forever or be treated the way they treated that child,” Leach said.
“In my eyes, he is still a child … He couldn’t help himself. They were supposed to take care of him. They should have reached out to somebody if they couldn’t do it themselves - to me,” she said. “I would have took him to the doctor. I would have did what I could to help him.
“To make anybody suffer and to go through something like that … I couldn’t imagine ever doing that to a person.”
According to police, Joseph’s relatives didn’t get medical help for him because they were afraid of getting in trouble. His grandfather told police it had been months since Joseph was out of bed.
Leach said she met her neighbors on the day they moved in several years ago. Leach said she saw a teenage girl - maybe 15 years old - in the house.
“I have seen her walking to school. I have never seen Joey,” Leach said.
She stared across the street, stunned to hear from police that Joseph's mother and grandparents had lived a dark secret and haunted by what happened to Joseph.
"From now on, I will never judge a book by its cover because no matter how nice people could be, there is always something that people hide - skeletons in the closet," Leach said.