Santa Ana Man Charged with Murder after Mother Found in Hoarder Conditions Covered in Bedsores and Feces, Suffering from Septic Shock

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: February 14, 2024

Case #: 24CF0377

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Santa Ana Man Charged with Murder after Mother Found in Hoarder Conditions Covered in Bedsores and Feces, Suffering from Septic Shock

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 50-year-old man has been charged with murder for killing his 82-year-old mother who died ten days after being taken by ambulance from hoarder-like conditions. She was covered in dried feces and bedsores, including a sore on her hip that left bone exposed. The home’s floors were covered in urine and feces and hundreds of dead roaches and other bugs littered the refrigerator where the woman’s insulin was kept. The home did not have running water.

Richard Towers, 50, of Santa Ana, has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony count of inflicting injury on an elder adult, and one felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury on an elder adult. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted on all counts.

The 82-year-old woman was rushed to Irvine Kaiser on January 15, 2024 after her son called 911 claiming he tried to wake his mother up but she wouldn’t respond. The woman, who was diabetic and required injections, had seven pressure wounds across her body that doctors said would have taken weeks to develop.  She was diagnosed with septic shock.

Despite efforts by medical staff to treat the woman’s extensive injuries, she died on January 25, 2024.  Towers previously prevented law enforcement from access to the woman after they attempted to conduct a welfare check in December 2023.

“The cruelty involved to allow your own mother to suffer in what undoubtedly was excruciating pain is unconscionable,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This was not accidental oversight by a careless caretaker; this was murder. The infliction of pain on a defenseless, elderly woman will not be tolerated in our community. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has – and will continue to – protect the safety of our elderly residents and ensure that those who do them harm are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky of the Family Protection Unit is prosecuting this case.

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