Tampa man charged with neglect after mother found dead - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa man charged with neglect after mother found dead

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The son of a woman found dead in her home with sores and maggots on her body is accused of elderly neglect.

The woman's home at 4910 N. 38th Street had no electricity or water and conditions there were described by police as "deplorable," with rats, cockroaches, mud and holes in the roof.

Tampa police officers found the body of Louise Holmes, 82, there Tuesday after receiving a 911 call about a deceased elderly female.  A police spokeswoman would not say who made the call, but said the woman's son, James Holmes, was present for the call.

James Holmes, 58, is charged with neglect of an elderly or disabled adult and is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail.

The cause of death for Louise Holmes, a former elementary school teacher who taught in Hillsborough County in the late 1950s and early 60s, was unclear.  An autopsy was being performed Wednesday, police said.

Police described Holmes as the primary caregiver for his mother, splitting his time between her home and his girlfriend's home. Holmes told detectives his mother hadn't been able to walk since July 4 and that he knew she needed medical attention, police said.

"When you look at the type of condition that the house was in, the type of condition that her body was in, this is something that progressed,"  said Tampa Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. "It's something that he saw on a regular basis progressing. Whether or not she was cooperative at that point, it's his responsibility to take over."

Neighbors said Louise Holmes kept to herself but they did see her son around the house.

"It's really sad, it is, because she was a sweet lady," said neighbor Mark Green.

Davis said there were three other calls regarding the Holmes home in 2011, once by a family member requesting a welfare check and twice to assist another agency checking on her. Louise Holmes answered the door and said she was fine at the time, Davis said. Tuesday was the first time officers went inside the home, she said.

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