A Tripoli woman is facing a felony charge in connection with failing to support a dependent adult, according to a press release from the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
Deputies have charged Debra Kleppe, 56, after an investigation stemming from the death of Sylvia Schwerin, 77, of rural Sumner. The investigation showed Schwerin had sustained burn injuries to approximately 20% of her body on May 10 and died on May 29.
An autopsy by the Iowa State Medical Examiner ruled the death as undetermined on May 31. The thermal injuries were determined to be a significant contributing factor to Schwerin’s death, according to a press release from Bremer County Det. Jason Ellison.
Kleppe was charged with non-support of a dependent adult, a Class D felony. She has been released on a promise to appear. The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Bremer County Medical Examiner.
If convicted, Kleppe could face up to five years in prison or up to $7,500 in fines.