Disabled Texas man dies after he was tied by mother and stepfather in RV and neglected, report says

Police: Stepfather tried to stitch victim’s ear with fishing line

Timothy Ellis, left, and Billie Barnes (Hitchcock Police Department, Hitchcock Police Department)

A Texas man died after his mother and stepfather abused him, tethered him to a bed for weeks and used home remedies to try and treat his severe injuries, according to media reports.

The victim, 45-year-old Edwin Colleson, died on Sunday at a Houston hospital days after the alleged abuse was uncovered at an RV park in Hitchcock, a city in Galveston County, according to KPRC, KSAT’s sister station.

Hitchcock police said officers responded to the RV park at 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 for a report of an unresponsive person.

There, they found Colleson, who was described as “frail, mentally and physically incapacitated,” covered in bedsores, feces and urine, police said.

Colleson had severe muscular atrophy and an intellectual disability and he only weighed 70 pounds, police said. He was also missing some teeth and parts of his bottom lip.

Police said he was allegedly tied up in the RV for about two weeks and his stepfather, 51-year-old Timothy Ray Ellis, bound his wrists together to subdue him.

Ellis allegedly cut open Colleson’s cauliflower ear and tried to stitch it together with fishing line, police said.

Ellis and the victim’s mother, 66-year-old Billie Jean Barnes, attempted to heal all of Colleson’s wounds with home remedies despite no formal holistic training, KPRC reported.

Colleson was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where medical staff noticed he had rotting flesh from long-time neglect, police said.

Galveston County Jail records show Ellis and Barnes were each charged with injury to a child/elderly/disabled person. Their bonds were each set at $250,000.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.