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Wanted Gary group home operator arrested

Gracie Hathaway | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Gracie Hathaway | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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Authorities arrested a Gary-area woman charged with abusing clients who lived in four Northwest Indiana adult group homes.

Gracie Hathaway, 40, of Lake Station, Ind., was arrested Thursday. She is charged with eight felonies, including neglect of a dependent, criminal confinement and battery for alledgedly kicking, pushing, starving and using a stun gun on the mentally and physically disabled adults who lived in homes she operated at Gracie’s Tender Loving Care.

Her boyfriend, Eldon Johnson, 43, remains at large. He is charged with same eight counts.

Hathaway appeared in Lake Superior Court on Friday and said she will hire her own attorney, court records show. She is being held on $80,000 bond, court records show.

Gary, Ind., Police Sgt. Dan Callahan conducted an extensive investigation, interviewing many residents and their family members about conditions inside the homes.

Hathaway is acused of collecting a large percentage of her clients’ pension and Social Security checks, allowing them $50 or $100 per month, police said. A caretaker told Callahan that there wasn’t always enough food. And residents were locked inside and unable to leave, according to court records.

The investigation began when John Woodley, 60, was found seriously ill inside a TLC home in January. His body temperature was 50 degrees. He had cuts, scratches and bruises and Callahan learned he had been shot with a stun gun more than once. He died less than two months later.

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