'That's horrible': Neighbors in shock after parents charged, accused of abusing disabled son

ByDerrick Lewis KTRK logo
Sunday, December 4, 2022
45-year-old with intellectual disability weighed 70 lbs. and had mutilated flesh, Hitchcock PD says
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Timothy Ray Ellis and Billie Jean Barnes are accused of abusing their son, a 45-year-old with an intellectual disability.

HITCHCOCK, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother and stepfather of a 45-year-old man living with disabilities are facing felony charges for the way police say they treated their son.

Investigators said the disabled man had sores and scars over his body when they found him.

The two were in charge of taking care of their son, but instead, police say they abused him.

Officers said they found him covered in bedsores, feces, and urine.

Hitchcock police have charged Billie Barnes, 66, and Timothy Ellis for injury to a disabled person.

"I'd say very surprised," Jimmy Singh, owner of Highland Bayou RV Park, said. "Very surprised."

He never thought he'd rent a lot to two people accused of such a crime.

"They are very respectable people. They came to my office, talking to me, but I never knew what was behind there," he said.

Behind closed doors, police said they weren't respectful at all.

Investigators told ABC13 on Wednesday night that police responded to a medical call and found the malnourished victim inside a mobile home unresponsive, with teeth and parts of his bottom lip missing.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: 45-year-old with intellectual disability weighed 70 lbs. and had mutilated flesh, Hitchcock PD says

Authorities said his parents restrained him to his room for weeks, tying his wrists together and around his neck to keep him from acting out.

"It's their son, and they treated him that cruel?" Franci Warren asked. "That's horrible."

Warren, who lives across the street from the couple, says she saw officers in the neighborhood Wednesday night.

"They were parked and talking to two people outside," she said.

During their investigation, officers said Ellis also cut open and removed cauliflower ear from the victim and then tried stitching the wound close with a fishing line at the home.

The victim weighed only 70 pounds, according to police.

"Maybe they had a hard time getting food or something, but that's no reason to not feed a person and not take care of them and not provide for them," Warren said. "If they are disabled, they should have found a place for them and not just leave them locked up and treated like some kind of animal."

Police said Ellis tried to heal the victim with a holistic approach without formal holistic training.

They said Barnes, by omission, allowed the injuries to happen to her son.

The victim is now trying to recover in the hospital but is in critical condition.

Ellis and Barnes are each in Galveston County jail on a $250,000 bond.