Thieves looted flooded home with drowning victim still inside

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Thursday, September 7, 2017
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In Meyerland, a shocking and brazen crime happened in the midst of a devastating flood.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Almost every house on this street has piles of soaked furniture, ruined belongings and soggy sheetrock out front.

Most homes had about 4 feet of water inside. One woman tells me she swam through 10 feet of flood water, and broke into this home trying to check on her elderly neighbor.

She says she will never forget what she saw.

Michele Poche is a trained paramedic, and was quick to act when her home and others on Meyerwood Drive started taking on water.

"Rescue mode, yeah," Poche said. "I knew my kids were safe. I wanted to take care of everyone else at that point."

One of the first people that came to mind: her 90-year-old neighbor, Agnes Stanley.

She had insisted on riding out the hurricane in her home.

"She had great difficulty getting around," Poche said. "She was not ambulatory, neighbors brought her paper every day, brought her coffee, we all kind of pitched in to take care of her."

Poche told Eyewitness News she called Stanley's son the morning of August 27th and got permission to break through a window to try and rescue her.

She was too late.

"We saw that she was under the water, and we backed out and called 911," Poche said. "We think that the water got too high and she may have drowned."

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office confirms she drowned.

Her family, too upset to speak about her on camera, did tell us her body was recovered two days later.

Her home, as well as at least three others on this street, had been burglarized, according to the Houston Police Department.

"She was still in there," Poche said. "The coroner was not able to get in until Tuesday to pick her body up. Yeah, they broke into her house and stole stuff, too."

HPD's mounted patrol is on the lookout for thieves this afternoon, trying to keep these families from losing even more.

The Harris County Medical Examiner confirms a total of 29 storm-related deaths, and they expect there will be more as the waters start to recede and families are able to get back into their


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