HOUSTON - A home on West 17th Street in The Heights has been sitting vacant since May 2010. That's when the home's owner, Dorothy Lowe, died. But recently, according to investigators and neighbors, two women broke in and are trying to take possession of the property.
"They broke through the door in the back and then they changed the locks," said one neighbor.
Neighbors allege these two women even stole Lowe's car, a car that had been sitting in the driveway since she died.
"They must have gotten the keys from inside," said another neighbor.
Someone who lives on the same block contacted Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen and told him what was going on at the home.
"They're trying to take control of property that doesn't belong to them," Rosen said. Rosen's office is now investigating.
The home is valued at more than $250,000 and taxes haven't been paid since 2010.
The two women accused of trying to take possession of the home filed paperwork with Harris County to try and do it legally. Local 2 tracked one of them down by phone and she admitted she didn't know Lowe.
"No ma'am, I don't know anyone that lives at the residence," she said. She also said she didn't know anything about the stolen car and told Local 2 to contact her lawyer for further questions.
The constable said he was ready to file criminal charges against these women, but the law prevents him from doing that. Lowe is the victim, but since she is deceased, she is unable to file a formal complaint, and Rosen said that's what is needed.
"What we need in law enforcement, we need a complainant," Rosen said.
Rosen said it doesn't appear Lowe had a will, so by law, the home would go to family members. He's now trying to track someone down who is related to Lowe and who can file a complaint on her behalf.
"I would ask that Dorothy Lowe's kids contact my office immediately so we can help preserve their property right interest," Rosen pleaded.
Rosen's deputies are using Lowe's obituary and other documents to track down relatives.
"It just doesn't feel right," Rosen said. "It feels bad and that's why I'm doing something about it."
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