TAYLOR — A day after a mother and her two daughters were arrested in Lackawanna County for allegedly allowing their family member to “rot to death,” a relative is speaking out.
She says Robert Gensiak, a 32 year old with Down syndrome, was neglected early on and how his life ended was a shock.
Susan Gensiak and her daughters Joan and Rebekah are locked up after being charged with third degree murder Wednesday. They’re accused of letting their son and brother with Down syndrome starve and eventually die of scabies.
Gensiak’s cousin said what happened came as a shock and told us that Robert is the second of Susan Gensiak’s sons to die unexpectedly.
The first cousin of the Gensiak family from Taylor wanted to tell us what Robert Gensiak was like before he died.
“Innocent, very innocent,” she said. “He loved to play with match cars. He was like a 5 or 6-year-old.”
She hadn’t seen Robert in several years and woke up to the sad news that Robert’s mother Susan and two sisters Joan and Rebekah were charged with his murder.
The three are accused of closing Robert in a room for at least a year and letting him starve and die from a severe case of scabies, a contagious skin disease.
“When I heard that he was 69 pounds, it hurt my heart. Why didn’t they feed him? Look at the size of them.”
The Gensiak’s cousin lost contact with Susan, Joan and Rebekah around 2005 when Susan Gensiak’s oldest son Joseph, Jr. died unexpectedly at the age of 29.
Susan’s husband Joseph died five years later, their cousin says.
The men took care of Robert who had Down syndrome.
She says Susan neglected both of her sons, starting when they were small children living in Olyphant. They were treated differently than her two daughters who walked alongside her as adults in handcuffs.
“She didn’t like her male children. She liked her female children. She liked Rebekah and she liked Joan. I don’t understand how you could like girls and not boys. They’re from you. They’re from your husband. Why can’t you love them all the same?”
Susan, Joan, and Rebekah Gensiak are locked up at the Lackawanna County prison with bail set at more than $250,000 each.
When they were arrested Wednesday, prosecutors called this the worst case of neglect they’d ever seen.