A few weeks ago, police responding to a 911 call found three elderly men forced to live off scraps and sleep on the linoleum floor of a garage on Whitecastle Lane in north Houston. On Thursday, July 25, one of the men, William Merle Greenawalt, 79, was pronounced dead, the victim of malnourishment. The two other victims, Dean Cottingham, 59, and John Edward Padget, 64, have been released from the hospital, according to police.
One suspect, Walter Renard Jones, 32, was taken into custody at the scene. He has been charged with two counts of injury to the elderly -- serious bodily injury. No word on if additional charges will be made against him now that one of the victims has died.
According to the Houston Police Department, they found the three victims in a hot garage with no bathroom. The men were allegedly coerced into the home on the promise of food and shelter. An elaborate series of locks kept them in the garage while the suspect allegedly cashed in their government benefit checks.
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Police continue to investigate the crime.