San Luis Obispo optometrist arrested for neglect

October 17, 2015
Susanne Wilch Krout

Susanne Krout


A San Luis Obispo optometrist was arrested Thursday for allegedly neglecting her adult daughter. Family members contend the allegations are unfounded.

On Sept. 23, Susanne Krout, 65, called for an ambulance to the Nipomo home of her son Thomas Anderson, 30, and her 28-year-old daughter. Emergency medical personnel arrived and transported Susanne Krout’s daughter to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.

Hospital staff reported suspicions of neglect after discovering the woman was malnourished and soaked in her own urine and feces, according to a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department press release.

Deputies then determined Susanne Krout’s daughter had fallen on the floor in a bathroom at her home where she laid for several days.

“The investigation revealed this was not an isolated incident and was a pattern of neglect and abuse for the last few months,” the sheriff’s department said in a press release.

Family members tell a very different story.

San Luis Obispo based attorney Michael Krout, Susanne Krout’s husband, describes his wife as a loving mother who stops in daily to check on her daughter. Susanne Krout’s son, Thomas Anderson, lives with his sister, but has a job outside of the home, Michael Krout said.

A short time ago, the daughter, a Cal Poly graduate who worked as an engineer, became impaired from an illness that is currently not completely diagnosed, Michael Krout said.

On Sept. 23, Susanne Kraut stopped by her daughter’s home and found the 28-year-old unable to walk on her own. Susanne Kraut then helped her daughter to the bathroom and placed a cushion for her daughter to sit while she called for an ambulance, Michael Krout said.

“There was no feces and urine,” Michael Krout said. “It is totally incorrect that she was on the floor for days, no more than a day.”

On Thursday, deputies arrested both Susanne Krout and Thomas Anderson on felony charges of dependent adult abuse likely to create great bodily injury and booked them into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. Susanne Krout is no longer in custody. Anderson remains in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Susanne Krout’s daughter is being cared for at a local medical facility.

The investigation into the alleged neglect is ongoing. The sheriff’s department is asking anyone who has additional information about this case to call (805) 781-4500.


as if the DA’s office and Sheriffs office had enough to do. Yea, just institutionalize the daughter where care is perfect.


Felonies are serious things. Not what you come out of the box with before a real investigation.

How would deputies, after the fact be able to ascertain the details they claim???

Neglect is one thing…..abuse is another!

Let’s start all law related family events with felony charges.

How does this approach make for any chance at real justice? If there is an issue there is always time to charge a felony later. If this is all a crock how does it ever get made right considering the harm done to the accused already.


Actually this is pretty typical – arrest for a felony and later the DA and defense attorney plea bargain it down. A felony arrest on alleged abuse is the norm. You are absolutely right, it isn’t just, but it is what happens all the time. Unfortunately the person arrested now has a felony arrest record which cannot be expunged. Even if the case is later resolved as a misdemeanor, the damage is done. Good luck getting a job if you have a felony arrest on your record – even if it turns out to be completely unwarranted.


I wonder whether her history of discipline with the State Board of Optometry might shed any light on the situation.


Let me get this straight. A mother stops by once a day to check on her 28 year old daughter and was arrested because she discovered her daughter laying on the floor (possibly for a day) and called an ambulance. How is the mother responsible for this? It’s time for the nanny gubmint to do the job we hired them for and this isn’t it.


I believe the key words here are “charges of dependent adult abuse.” Evidently the daughter is so ill that the mother has agreed to take her as her dependent. This would be the same as taking in your child over 18 if he or she were mentally handicapped only it sounds like this young woman is physically handicapped in some way.

Kevin 99

Cindy, I think I have agreed with “Pelican” exactly one time until today, and now this makes two. I recommend you read his post, below, and see if you can divine some wisdom from it.


If there was neglect, why would they call an ambulance? Something does not pass the smell test… no pun intended.


I await the findings of the investigation.


Is this the same optometrist, former Susanne Anderson, who had an office near the Nipomo Pharmacy in the early 80’s and had a home on the bluff? Such a sad story, I’m sure there is more to it than this.


Mr. Kraut takes great pride in doing the wrong thing just because he can argue that you can’t prove it. This is not the only example of this.