Paula Sinclair and Allen Richardson lived together in the an upscale Houston suburb called Long Meadow Farms.
Sinclair was a mother to seven foster children with special needs, whom she had cared for since they were babies.Image Credit: Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office
From the outside, the family seemed to fit right into the wealthy suburb.
But the parents were hiding a sinister secret.
Sinclair and Richardson kept the seven special needs children locked in a small, filthy room at all times, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
The children, who ranged in age from 13 to 16, were malnourished and injured from beatings with wooden paddles.
When Sinclair and Richardson left the house, they locked the children in a small closet. They would oftentimes be gone for so long that the children soiled themselves.Image Credit: Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office
But one day in November, State Child Protective Services received a tip from an undisclosed source, reports CBS News.
They sent a case worker to investigate the home. And they were horrified by the conditions.
The children were discovered in the feces-smeared room wearing shabby clothing.
The smell of urine was overpowering, according to police, and one child with Down syndrome was wearing a dirty diaper.
None of the children had ever gone to school or received any sort of education.
Police were notified and raided the property the following day, reports Yahoo! News.
Sheriff Troy E. Nehls says he’s saddened by the incident:
“I cannot think of a more deplorable situation than what we have learned in this case.
These people are taking advantage of a lousy situation at the expense of children who cannot fend for themselves. It is absolutely heart-breaking.”
Sinclair, 54, and Richardson, 78, were arrested.
Strangely, the duo’s relationship to each other is unclear. Sinclair was married but her husband was not involved or living at the home.
Even more infuriating, Sinclair and Richardson insisted to police they had done nothing wrong.
In another unsettling twist, CBS News uncovered documents from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) that stated a child had died in their home in 2011.
But the DFPS wouldn’t reveal information on the cause of the child’s death or surrounding circumstances. Sinclair and Richardson were never charged at the time, though.
Two charged for treatment of adopted special needs children NEWS RELEASE-Dec. 5, 2016 On Nov. 23, 2016,…
The foster children have been placed in the custody of Fort Bend County Children’s Advocacy and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The one tiny silver lining:in the wake of this horrifying discovery is that the community has banded together to help the children.
In a post on Facebook, Fort Bend police said they have received a large number of donations for the seven kids:
“We have received countless inquires from individuals wanting to provide items for the 7 children that were recently removed from a home in Long Meadow Farms.”
The post continued:
“If you would like to drop off a gift card, we will ensure it benefits them by purchasing toys, books, or needed items.”
They even received some donations directly from other local children:
Thanks to Marcus and Miles who stopped by today to drop off gift cards for the 7 kids we're working with. Sheriff Nehls gave them patches as a token of our appreciation.
The seven foster children remain in the care of CAC and are on the road to recovery.
On December 5th, Paula Sinclair and Allen Richardson were charged with injury to a child and aggravated kidnapping. They are currently being held at Fort Bend County Jail.