It's never a happy occasion when we learn of the passing of public figures of days gone by, but the ultimate fate of former model Rebeca Zeni is right out of a horror movie.
An autopsy report revealed that Zeni died in June 2015 from "septicemia due to scabies" at the Shepherds Hill Nursing Home in LaFayette, Georgia; in other words, she was eaten alive by parasitic mites.
According to 11Alive, State Health officials were notified of the scabies outbreak multiple times but never launched an inspection at the nursing facility where Zeni was placed after being diagnosed with dementia in 2010.
The CDC gives a horrific description of the conditions Zeni endured before she died at the age of 93.
The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.
The family is suing Pruitt Health which runs the nursing home. Mike Prieto, the family's lawyer said, "I don't understand how you can allow a human being to suffer needlessly."
Zeni's skin was covered in layers of scabs due to hundreds of millions of mites biting under the top layer of her skin. According to another family attorney, Stephen Chance, he described an example of Zeni's physical condition that deteriorated to a devastating degree:
There was a conversation at this nursing home with a healthcare provider about being careful about touching Ms. Zeni's hand for fear that it might fall off her body.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Kris Sperry was disturbed after reviewing the autopsy report, admitting that her case was "one of the most horrendous things I've ever seen in my career as a forensic pathologist. I would seriously consider calling this a homicide by neglect."
As a young woman, Zeni worked in the naval yard during World War II, did some modeling in New York City, and worked at a TV station in Chicago. For a woman who once lived an illustrious life, this is not how her story should've ended.