Dozens of elderly residents rescued from unlicensed group home in southeast Harris County

HOUSTON – Harris County Precinct 7 deputy constables forced their way into an unlicensed group home in southeast Harris County and found more than three dozen elderly residents, most with medical conditions, crammed into a four-bedroom house with only one working toilet.

On Monday afternoon, a woman living in New York called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and said she’d received a phone call from her 62-year-old brother, who has a mental illness, saying that he was being held against his will and feard for his life as a resident at the home.

The case was referred to the Precinct 7 Constable’s Office.

When deputy constables arrived at the house just after 3 p.m., two attendants inside refused to let them in. Officials kicked in the door and discovered one of the worst conditions seen in three decades, according to one of the peace officers.

They found 37 residents, most of them elderly and ill, assigned to beds that were crowded into bedrooms, a den upstairs and even a garage, investigators said. It appeared that nine people were living side by side, investigators described.

Officials said the home was dirty and bug-infested. Residents told investigators they hadn’t been fed, according to deputies.

The pantry and the refrigerator were barren and residents medications were spread out in plastic containers on the kitchen counter.

The discovery came as a surprise to some neighbors.

Correction:The spelling of Richardson's first name has been corrected.