Disabled man’s mother, stepfather accused of tethering victim while performing torturous ‘holistic’ medical procedures, Hitchcock police say

HITCHCOCK, Texas – A mother and stepfather have been accused of subjecting the woman’s disabled adult son to brutal abuse, while practicing home remedies on the man, furthering his torture, according to the Hitchcock Police Department.

Timothy Ray Ellis, 51, and Billie Jean Barnes, 66, have each been charged with injury to a disabled Individual, a first-degree felony.

The disturbing details outlined in a news release described the abuse Barnes’ 45-year-old son endured.

On Nov. 30, Hitchcock police officers responded around 11:30 p.m. to the Highland Bayou RV Park located at 9202 Highway 6 for a medical call involving an unresponsive person.

They arrived to find paramedics already on the scene rendering life-saving aide to a “frail, mentally and physically incapacitated” adult male, according to the release.

The victim, who weighed only 70 pounds, suffered from severe muscular atrophy, and was covered in bedsores, feces, and urine. The victim was also missing parts of his bottom lip and an unknown number of teeth, the report said.

Upon investigation, it was learned that the victim had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability and had been allegedly tethered to his room inside the rear of the residence for approximately two weeks.

Investigators said the victim displayed several scars and scabs where he had been forcibly restrained by his stepfather, Ellis, and biological mother, Barnes. It was also discovered that Ellis, attempted to heal all the victim’s medical and cognitive ailments holistically with no formal holistic training, while his mother did nothing to stop the torturous procedures.

Investigators said, it was learned that Ellis restrained the victim by binding his wrists together and around his neck to subdue him from acting out. It was also noted that Ellis had cut open and removed “cauliflower ear” from the victim before attempting to stitch the wound closed with fishing line at the residence.

The term “cauliflower ear” refers to a deformity of your ear that’s caused by blunt force trauma. The condition is common among boxers, wrestlers and martial artists, but it can happen to anyone who sustains an injury to their outer ear.

The malnourished victim was subsequently transported to HCA Houston – Mainland hospital in critical condition by EMS where he currently remains in critical condition.

Once at Mainland Hospital, it was discovered that the victim’s flesh was mutilated and rotting from a time of significant and considerable neglect. 

The Galveston County District Attorney’s office was contacted and made aware of the circumstances of the investigation and agreed to charge Ellis and Barnes, with a bond of $250,000 each. They were both arrested and transported to the Galveston County Jail.

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