Starvation suspect is charged


A North­east man has been charged with murder in con­nec­tion with the star­va­tion death of his 82-year-old fath­er last year.

Thomas Houck, 57, shared a home with his eld­erly par­ents on the 3400 block of Kirk­wood Road in Academy Gar­dens, the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice said. On Dec. 26, para­med­ics were called to the home to ad­min­is­ter care to Houck’s moth­er, who ap­peared to be mal­nour­ished.

While on the scene, med­ics dis­covered the corpse of Le­onard Houck in the base­ment. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 79 pounds. Thomas Houck told in­vest­ig­at­ors that his fath­er had died days earli­er and he was un­sure what to do with the body, the DA’s of­fice said.

In time, the med­ic­al ex­am­iner con­cluded that Le­onard Houck died of mal­nu­tri­tion, while de­tect­ives de­term­ined that Thomas Houck was his par­ents’ primary care­giver. He also is al­leged to have stolen an un­dis­closed amount of money from the couple.

Po­lice ar­res­ted Thomas Houck on Thursday. He has been charged with third-de­gree murder, in­vol­un­tary man­slaughter, felony theft, ab­use of corpse and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment.

Houck is sched­uled for a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing on April 4. He re­mains in cus­tody without bail. ••


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