Man facing charges in suspicious death of woman

Dean Wood is facing charges of sexually assaulting and killing Flora Ryan, 92, in southeast Houston.

August 22, 2010 5:13:46 PM PDT
We have an update in the case of the suspicious death of a 92-year-old woman. A man is now facing charges in connection with the case. Dean Wood is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault of an elderly person. He was taken into custody. Family members say Flora Ryan died after she was found unconscious in a bathtub in southeast Houston on Friday night.

The family tells us Wood appeared homeless and they took him in a few months ago. We did some checking and Wood has a lengthy criminal record.

The victim's exact cause of death is yet to be determined.

Family laments leaving them alone

Questions are now being answered about how a great grandmother died in her own bathtub while her granddaughter was just next door.

"She loves crayons and to draw flowers. She's sweet," said Julie.

That is how Julie would like to remember her 92-year-old grandmother, Flora Ryan. Not by what happened Friday night.

Julie, who didn't want her last name used, was in the apartment with her son, grandmother and a family friend. She said the friend began talking loudly so she went to the next door neighbor's apartment to get away.

"I just opened the door for her because he was being loud and scaring her baby," said the neighbor.

Around 7:30pm in the evening, Julie went to check on her grandmother and found her unconscious.

Paramedics and police were quickly called, but Flora Ryan died. The family friend who was in the apartment, Dean Wood, was arrested on outstanding warrants, but not before neighbors say he created a scene.

"He was screaming at the cops, cussing at them and everything," said a neighbor. "While he was arrested, he kicked out a window to the cop car."

Homicide detectives are looking into how a grandmother who used a walker and suffered from Alzheimers could have been beaten and left naked in a bathtub, while Julie second guesses her time at the neighbor's.

"I wonder what would have happened if I didn't leave. Could I have stopped it? What would have happened to me?" said Julie.

A 92-year-old woman was in critical condition when police arrived at the Bristol Apartments off Redford near the Gulf Freeway. She appeared to have been beaten. She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

At this time, police have no suspects, but there are concerns someone who used to be close to her may have had something to do with her death.


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