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DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 10:31 a.m.

INCIDENT: Elder Abuse

LOCATION: 4000 block of Avenida Del Sol, Joshua Tree

SUSPECT(S): Edward Zeppenfeldt, age 55 of Joshua Tree
Melinda Zeppenfeldt, age 48 of Joshua Tree

VICTIM(S): Confidential – male adults ages 24 and 25 of Joshua Tree

SUMMARY: On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at approximately 10:31 a.m., deputies conducted an Adult Protective Services Follow Up in the 4000 block of Avenida Del Sol in Joshua Tree. While at the location, deputies contacted Melinda and Edward Zeppenfeldt who occupy the residence with their two adult dependent sons. The couple are caregivers to their sons who are diagnosed with Aspergers and autism. Deputies observed piles of garbage scattered all over the front, side and backyard of the property. Deputies observed trash, rat feces, dirt, and sharp objects throughout the floor of the residence. The cabinets were empty and contained a large amount of rat feces. The doors and walls of the interior had significant damage. The drywall had large holes, which exposed electrical wires. In one of the bedrooms, human feces covered the walls. The condition of the residence was deplorable and posed a health risk to the dependent adults.

Melinda and Edward Zeppenfeldt were arrested for violation of Penal Code 368(b)(1), Abuse of a Dependent Adult and booked into the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $50,000 bail each.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME.

Refer: Deputies N. Campos and M. Lomboy

Station: Morongo Basin Station

Case #: 091801365

Phone No. (760) 366-4175

JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department