Deputies: Florida man starved wife who weighed 68 lbs. at death

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa man is accused of starving his wife, who weighed 68 lbs. when she was found dead in her bed.

Harold Earl Allen, 75, is charged with homicide-negligent manslaughter/aggravated neglect of an elderly disabled adult.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call at the couple’s home on 8:17 p.m. on January 6, 2017.

Harold Allen told deputies that his wife, Karen Allen, age 74, was dead.

Deputies say Karen Allen appeared extremely underweight and emaciated.  There were also wounds above her right eye, right side of the neck and around her lips.

Harold Allen told deputies that his wife was bedridden and was non-verbal for at least one week prior to her death.

He said he was her sole caregiver and he was responsible for providing food to her. He told deputies that his wife last ate the day before and she had not been seen by a doctor in five years.

Harold Allen told deputies that his wife had been bedridden and non-mobile for three weeks prior to January 6.

Allen said he never contacted medical services for his wife, but regularly sees the doctor for his own medical conditions.

Deputies said there was plenty of food in the home and the kitchen and refrigerator were well stocked with food.  They also determined that the couple did not have financial problems and the home was in order and tidy.

On January 7, 2017, an autopsy was conducted  and the medical examiner noted that Karen Allen weighed 68 lbs. at the time of her death.

The medical examiner determined she died from a pulmonary thromboembolism due to thrombosis of deep veins of the legs. Immobilization and dehydration were contributing causes of her death.

The medical examiner said a wound to her lip was caused by severe dehydration and malnourishment.

The medical examiner also said there was nothing in Karen Allen’s stomach which would indicate she recently ate, prior to her death. This was a contradiction to the information provided by Harold Allen.

Detectives are continuing to investigate Karen Allen’s death. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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