Police question son in mother's death

January 28, 2009 9:07:06 PM PST
Homicide detectives are taking a look at the death of an elderly woman on the southeast side because of the unusual circumstances.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

After spending at least two hours answering questions from police, Paul Ditton did not wish to answer our questions. He was dropped off on Wednesday night after giving a lengthy statement.

Investigators went to Ditton's townhouse on El Dorado on Wednesday afternoon. They had received a call from a funeral home that 89-year-old Flora Ditton's death seemed suspicious. Police took a piece of plastic from the home that they believe she had been lying on for some time. Investigators said she was underweight with sores all over her body.

"The preliminary part of the investigation shows that she may have been not taken care of properly," said Sr. Officer James Bonaby of the Houston Police Department.

Paul Ditton told investigators he supported his mother by working ten hour days even though she was bed-ridden. Police think Flora Ditton hadn't been to a doctor in months.

From the back seat of a patrol car, Paul Ditton told us that his mother was in a lot of pain and she wanted to die at home.

"When I came home from work, my mother had died. She had been declining for the past couple of days," he said.

Many neighbors did not even know Paul Ditton cared for his mother, although John Guthrie was the exception.

"I just never saw her," said Guthrie, who lives next door to Ditton.

Investigators said Paul Ditton's mother suffered and he should have known because he's a pharmacy clerk at a nearby hospital.

Paul Ditton told police that he had been caring for his mother since 2004. Investigators said they will review his statements then attend the autopsy on Thursday morning. After that, they will talk to the District Attorney's office about possible charges.

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