A bit more on those twin brothers over in Meadowbrook Freeway who spent the last 3 months living in their home at 8402 Glenscott St. with the rotting dead body of their 89-year-old mother. Turns out Sybil Berndt was not found decomposing on the floor of the living room for all that time, as was first reported — her corpse was lying face down in the foyer, right behind the front door pictured here. Which might explain why Edwin Berndt thought it would be wiser to let in the police officer who came to investigate reports of concern about his mother (she wasn’t responding to her voicemail messages, a neighbor had reported) through the side door. Oh — and one more thing: Edwin and his brother Edward left their mother on the floor right where she fell for 3 whole days — alive — before she started in with that dying and decomposing bit.
The story of the 48-year-old couldn’t-be-bothered twins and the stench of their mother’s corpse has now been reported in newspapers, on teevee news, and on websites all over the world. But no retelling of the events we’ve come across so far has managed to surpass the deadpan drama of the Probable Cause affidavit prepared by HPD sergeant R. Torres, who was called to the scene shortly after Berndt’s body was found. Torres’s writeup brings together brilliantly the many themes of multigenerational family life the story so shockingly cartoons: fears of falling among the elderly, the selflessness of mothers, unacknowledged (or at least uncelebrated) birthdays, incapacitating miserliness, the difficulty of meal preparation, a parent’s financial support, bluffing, and of course, the ungratefulness of children:
Edwin said on January 10, 2011, they were trying to watch the BCS Championship football game when the Complainant came in ranting and raving and she then fell down and did not get up. Edwin Berndt said he and his brother Edward Berndt both discussed the fact that they did not have the financial means to provide medical treatment for their mother so they decided to leave her there on the floor. Edwin Berndt said when his mother fell on January 10, 2011 she was conscious and able to speak for approximately a day but did not ask for any help. Edwin Berndt said that after three days lying on the floor, on January 13, 2011 his mother died. He stated that he specifically remembers that she died on January 13, 2011 because it was the day after her eighty ninth birthday.
. . . Edward Berndt confirmed what his brother had said regarding the fact that their mother fell on January 10, 2011, was alive for three days on the floor, then died on January 13, 2011. Edward Berndt stated that they did not seek medical attention for her, nor did they provide her with food or water. He stated that they left his mother on the floor initially because they didn’t have any money to get her medical treatment and that after she died they didn’t have any money for a funeral.
Torres also reports having
observed the Complainant laying face down in the foyer of the residence and her body was clearly in the stage of advanced decomposition. The Complainant had a nightgown on and it was pulled up to just under her arms ad she did not have any underwear on. Affiant [Torres] observed insect activity around the body. Affiant located at the residence the Complainant’s bank statements from JP Morgan Chase which totaled approximately seven hundred thousand dollars.
- Twins arrested after mother’s body found in home [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: At Home in Meadowbrook Freeway
Photos: Abc News