Friends say Denise Tighe was an independent woman, a native of Switzerland who came to the United States and, as a young adult, helped manage a bank on Wall Street.
But more than a year ago, friends and neighbors began to see a change in Tighe, who was in her mid-80s.
A court in February 2012 ruled that Tighe needed to be placed under the state’s guardianship program after finding that she was too “incapacitated,” both mentally and physically, to care for herself, and had little chance of rebounding.
The court, located in Palo Pinto County, also ruled that no one close to Tighe was capable of providing the care she needed. So it appointed a Fort Worth lawyer to be guardian over her belongings and financial affairs, and the state’s Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to guard over her personal welfare.
Since then, Tighe has been moved to an assisted living facility in Weatherford, where her access to visitors must first be approved and monitored by the state.
One of her guardians arranged an estate sale at her house, where organizers promoted the sale of Tighe’s “high-end collectibles,” including Waterford Crystal, jewelry and “excellent furniture.”
And her house is up for sale.
“They just took her away,” friend Kathy Gilbreath told CBS 11’s I-Team.
The state says proceeds from the sales go toward caring for Tighe, and that the assisted living facility in Weatherford is the best place to receive that care.
So who’s taking care of Bobby…her cat?
“His health is almost perfect. There’s nothing wrong with him,” Mineral Wells veterinarian Flint Immel said, with Bobby purring in his lap.
Immel and his assistant, Angel Jiminez, told the I-Team they were shocked when Tighe’s court-appointed guardian called nearly a year ago and said he would no longer pay to have Bobby boarded at their clinic.
“He told me bluntly, the cat will be euthanized because there will be no more boarding fees paid,” Jiminez said.
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Friend: “They Just Took Her Away”