Man found tied up and murdered in his apartment

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A man found tied up and murdered in his apartment and now Houston police are searching for his killer.

On Tuesday night, the 60-year-old man who lived in Unit #4 at the Kenlee apartments at the 7800 block of Detroit in southeast Houston was found dead. His hands and feet were bound with electrical cord and his body had been wrapped in a blanket.

Neighbor Elizabeth Gutierrez was so upset, she lit a candle in his memory and said a prayer.

"That's what gets me. Who would want to do that to him? He was so little and tiny. I don't understand. He had nothing," Gutierrez said.

Neighbors identified the victim as Mark Ellis. Police say his brother found him in the living room. There were no signs of a struggle and nothing appeared to have been taken.

The 60-year-old had lived in the apartment by himself until recently when he started letting a man in his 30s, who had just gotten out of jail, stay with him. Gutierrez says the man was supposedly paying Ellis $5 a day. He is nowhere to be found.

"Mark had been complaining the last week that the guy hadn't been paying him. That he'd been eating his food," Gutierrez said.

She added that Ellis was schizophrenic and while he was taking medication he hadn't been himself lately and in some cases became confrontational with his neighbors.

Detectives are investigating one possible motive, but nothing concrete has been confirmed.

Local 2 has learned here have been numerous police calls for service at the apartment complex over the past few months, including reports of drug activity. Police are looking into the possibility that the killing was some kind of retaliation.

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