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Family Charged in Starving Disabled Woman

December 9, 2004 GMT

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) _ Three family members were indicted Wednesday on first-degree murder charges in the starvation death of a disabled relative.

Paul McMahon, Debra McMahon and their 18-year-old daughter Kimberly McMahon were arrested shortly after a grand jury returned the indictments. The three were held on $1 million bond each in the death of Debra McMahon’s sister, Karen Dreager.

Dreager, disabled from birth by cerebral palsy, weighed about 50 pounds when she was found dead in the family’s home in August. A medical examiner determined the 35-year-old woman had starved.

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Friends recalled that Dreager grew up loved by adoptive parents in New Jersey, had a healthy appetite and at one time weighed about 200 pounds, requiring two people to lift her from her wheelchair.

Her late mother ``had to keep an eye on her because she would eat you out of house and home,″ said Fran Zawacki, a former neighbor in New Jersey.

Family friend Rick Cullison of Knoxville said the last time he visited the McMahons about 18 months ago, he didn’t see Karen and the McMahons didn’t talk about her. ``It’s all just weird,″ he said.