Prosecutor: 91-year-old woman dies after son ties her to recliner with shoelaces

Authorities say Mildred Schnabel, 91, died in this home on 35th Street in Union City after he 56-year-old son, Peter Schnabel, tied her overnight to a recliner using shoelaces.

UNION CITY – Peter Schnabel, 56, has been charged with elderly neglect, a third-degree crime, after authorities accused him of tying up his 91-year-old mother while he went to work.

They said he used shoelaces to tie the woman to a recliner.

Union City police were responding to a report of a medical emergency at the family’s 35th Street home Saturday morning at 8:14 a.m., Nov. 17, 2012 when they found Mildred Schnabel dead in the living room, Hudson County prosecutors said.

The initial investigation revealed that Schnabel’s son, Peter Schnabel, who lived his mother and was her caretaker, left for work Friday evening and used shoelaces tied together to secure her to a reclining chair “to prevent her from falling out,” the prosecutor said.

When the son returned from work Saturday morning he found his mother slumped in the chair, officials said.