Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is launching an investigation into Missouri's elder abuse hotline, his office announced Wednesday.

The hotline investigates reports of abuse, bullying, neglect and exploitation against vulnerable people ages 60 or older and people with disabilities ages 18 to 59. In a joint investigation published Wednesday, the Columbia Missourian and KBIA reported that only about 50 percent of calls to the hotline in 2018 were answered. About 39 percent of calls were answered between January and April 2019. 

Schmitt said in the release that he learned of the gravity of this issue from the Missourian and KBIA's reporting.

The Office of the Attorney General will determine the severity of the claims made against the hotline and provide additional resources until a remedy can be implemented. These will include emergency court orders to protect members of vulnerable populations who need immediate assistance.

"Attorney General Schmitt urges consumers who suspect abuse and are having trouble making contact through the Elder Abuse Hotline to call the Medicaid Fraud Abuse line at 800-286-3932," the news release said.

  • Summer 2019 general assignment reporter. Photojournalism & visual editing major. Reach me at madiwinfield@mail.missouri.edu.

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