Rossville woman treated mother as hostage for 8 months, police say

Rossville woman treated mother as hostage for 8 months, police say

August 30th, 2011 by WRCB-TV Channel 3 in Local - Breaking News

Police say a Rossville woman treated her elderly mother as a hostage for more than eight months, physically abusing and threatening her until detectives, family members, and Adult Protective Services could intervene.

"It's got me scared now," says Betty Strickland, 67. "I had to pray every day in my bedroom 'God, get me out of here. Get somebody to get me out of here. I'm tired of being hit."

Her daughter, Ruth Marie Strickland, who also goes by Ruthie Jackson and Ruthie Gray, 38, is in the Walker County Jail on charges of battery and false imprisonment, according to Rossville Police Detective David Scroggins.

"She's (Betty Strickland) been abused and neglected, " Betty Strickland's daughter, and Ruthie's sister, Dorothy "Dot" Bledsoe says.

"She (Ruthie) hit me here (under the eyes) before, then hit me in the nose before, made it bleed." Betty says.

"My mother has no Social Security checks," Bledsoe says. "They've taken all her money, put it on a debit card and spent it all."

Police say Betty Strickland granted Ruthie power of attorney shortly after she became a widow last year. Ruthie moved her mother into a duplex on Lee Avenue that she shared with her boyfriend.

"She wouldn't let any of us see our Mother," Bledsoe says. "When we tried to talk to her, Mama would tell us to leave her alone."

"She (Ruthie) would punch me if I had said anything else," Betty Strickland says.

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