RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) - The seven adopted children that were said to be abused and were removed from deplorable conditions at a Fort Bend County home will remain in CPS custody.
A judge made the decision this morning. All seven children are still in a Houston hospital. CPS says a tip led them to these seven special needs children who are malnourished and were allegedly being abused and neglected by their adopted mother and her boyfriend.
”I can't understand it. It makes my heart hurt,” says one neighbor in the Long Meadow Farms sub-division.
David Willard lived in the group home on the first floor of the house. Upstairs is where investigators say all seven kids lived in one room. The children range in age from 13 to 15 years old, including a 13-year-old with Down Syndrome. Detectives say the kids were kept in a cluttered room that reeked of urine and feces and they say the children were often locked in an upstairs closet.
Willard says he was told to never speak to the children. “I knew something was wrong. The kids would come to the railing and look for people occasionally. Then they wanted to speak to me. I gave them my number and put my number on the stairs and they sent me a text”.
Willard says he isn't sure where the kids obtained a cell phone but he says they sent him two text messages in September. The messages read in part "This is (the child) from upstairs. I was trying to get your number so we can talk with you. Keep it a secret that we talked with you and always go outside to talk to us when we call."
”I heard one of the children get walloped up there and started crying and ran back into his room,” explains Willard.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office has arrested 54-year-old Paula Sinclair and her 78-year-old boyfriend Allen Richardson. Sinclair adopted eight special needs children as infants. The last child was adopted in 2004. That little boy actually died in 2011 when he was 7 years old. CPS isn’t disclosing how he died.
”What in the world is going on? How does a place like this survive?” asks Willard.
That seems to be the question everyone has. CPS says once a kid is adopted they don't routinely check on the child unless there's a complaint.
Investigators say money may have been a motive behind the adoptions. According to CPS, typically parents who adopt special needs children receive about $550 per month, per child.
So Sinclair could have been taking in more than $45,000 dollars a year.
The next custody hearing is scheduled for January 18, 2017. CPS says they are working to place all seven children in the same foster home and to get them any necessary therapy.
Meanwhile one neighbor says Sinclair no longer lived at the house. The neighbor says over the last few months Sinclair would drive up to the house with groceries and “She would get out and throw them, when I say throw them, she would just get out and drop the groceries on the ground. Then she would get in her car and leave. The man would come out and get the bags and take them in the house. If this lady knows about God she's going to get hers. If she knows about karma that's going to come back on her the same way she did those children”.