Houston man rescued from captivity in squalid garage dies

Two other victims released from hospital; Walter Jones charged with injury to elderly

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HOUSTON - One of the men held against his will and forced to stay in a Houston man’s converted garage has died, according to Houston police.

Police said William Merle Greenawalt, 79, died on Thursday, July 25.

Back on July 19, police officers responded to a home after a call was made that people were being held against their will.

Once inside the home, police found Greenawalt and three other men inside.

Greenawalt and two others were so badly malnourished that they were transported to the hospital. 

The men told authorities they had been misled by Walter Jones, 31, into staying at the home in exchange for food and shelter.

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The men claimed Jones used force and coercion to keep them there for the purpose of monetary gain.

The two other victims, 59-year-old Dean Cottingham and 64-year-old John Edward Padget, have been released from the hospital into the care of Adult Protective Services. 

Jones was charged with two counts of injury to the elderly - serious bodily injury.

Police said their investigation is ongoing. Officials have not yet said if the charges will be upgraded.


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