Twin 48-year-old men in Houston were charged Tuesday with the murder of their 89-year-old mother, who was reportedly left unattended after she suffered a fall on January 10.
Police say the brothers, Edward Larry Berndt and Edwin Christian Berndt, left their mother on the floor without medical attention, food or water until she died three days later, and then lived with the corpse an additional three months.
The twins were arrested Monday when officers responded to a call from a neighbor who said the elderly woman, 89-year-old Sybil Berndt, had not been seen since January. Edwin Berndt answered the officer's knocks and initially said "everyone was fine and there was no need for the police at their home," according to court documents. After the officer insisted she had to see Berndt's mother, Edwin let her into the house, where she found the elderly Berndt face down on the floor of the foyer.
The woman’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition and insects were crawling around it, according to the documents.
The brothers told police for the first day their mother was conscious and able to speak, but did not ask for any help. They said they left her unattended because they didn’t have money for medical treatment.
When she died three days later on January 13, the brothers said they decided to leave her because they didn’t want to go to jail, and couldn’t afford to bury her.