RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) - Paula Sinclair won't win adoptive mother of the year in 2016. She and her partner Allen Richardson are facing charges of child endangerment and kidnapping for keeping seven special needs kids hidden away in their Richmond home. But how long were they there without anyone on the outside knowing?
“From what we can determine they have been in the house for one and a half to two years. We're still trying to figure out the timeline,” said investigator Julie Johnson with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
The house is in Richardson's name, but we found a house that had been in her name in Alief. She adopted the kids back in 2003 and 2005. According to property records, the home is just under 25,000 square feet. She has a birth son, so that means 11 people were living under the same roof.
Nobody answered the door there, perhaps because, according to court records, in 2009 the bank foreclosed on this home.
Some neighbors tell us she tried to get loans from them and set up a charity to raise money to help children.
In 2010 she and husband Larry divorced. Neighbors say she moved out around that time. According to the divorce documents her ex has to pay $600 a month in child support. That's on top of the $450 a month per child she collects from the state. Where she was between moving out and moving in with Richardson we don't know. But we do know this: even though they are reluctant to appear on camera, some neighbors are distraught they didn't know what was happening so close to home.
“A helpless child can't help themselves. She was supposed to help them,” said one neighbor from behind her door.
A lot of people are asking how they can help these children. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office will accept donations of gift cards at the Sheriff’s office. They will not accept cash or gifts.