TAMPA — Ronald Larsen, the elderly man who was neglected to the point that cancer consumed nearly half his face, has died. 

Larsen, 86, was living at the Palmetto Guest Home, an assisted living facility, when a court-appointed guardian discovered his plight. Dementia and autism had left Larson unable to speak.

Ashley Butler, the public guardian, removed him from the home and the state closed the facility.

"How can you go to bed at night knowing that you’ve got somebody over here that you’re taking money for taking care of him and he has a this huge, huge cancer on the side of his face?" Butler said.

Radiation reduced the cancer, and the state revoked the assisted living facility’s license.

Police arrested the owner, Jackie Dorelien, on charges of neglect and she pleaded not guilty. The state attorney’s office declined to prosecute. Larsen died Jan. 12, two days after Dorelien signed an agreement keeping her out of the assisted living facility business.

No autopsy is being performed so there will be no cause of death listed, Butler said.

Larsen lived at the assisted living center from June 2005 to March 2007 when Butler removed him.



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