Two heartbroken daughters on Friday looked through their mother's crumbling home where authorities said their brother allowed their mother to slowly die in filth and squalor.
Carol Brown's daughters, Melissa Askren and Laura Sanders, provided KCTV5 exclusive access to their mother's home. The two women became emotional at times with Melissa Askren bowing her head just feet from where firefighters said they found Carol Brown fused to the material.
"It was a lot worse than I had expected," Askren said.
She moved to North Carolina in April and had not seen her since then. She said she had spent the previous six years caring for her mother and had trusted that her brother would do so in her absence.
James "Eddie" Owens is in the Jackson County Jail on a charge of attempting to cash his mother's $741 Social Security check just days after she died. His bond is set at $50,000.
Police are investigating Owen for elder abuse and waiting on autopsy results before submitting the case file to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office.
"It was completely destroyed. I don't know if it was what paramedics did to get in to her or is what he did," Sanders said.
KCTV5's Mark Boyle said the conditions inside the home were "bad." He said part of the roof has caved in, exposing part of the garage to the elements.
Boyle said rotten food littered the refrigerator.
"The victim was described as a rotting corpse that was still breathing," according to court documents.
An Independence Fire Department captain said the woman had to be physically pried from a vinyl reclining chair in the living room, according to court documents.
"The victim's legs were fused to the chair and her legs had to be physically separated from the foot rest portion of the chair leaving behind yellowish skin tissue," according to an affidavit from Independence Police detectives.
"When she was removed from the chair, there were flying insects around her body."
Jim Palmer, who lives near the home, said he knew early on when first responders arrived that something beyond the pale had occurred inside the home.
"One of the fireman - and they see a lot of bad things in their duties - gets down on his knees and vomits in the yard," Palmer said. "You know something's got to be wrong."
Civil records show Owens has faced a host of financial problems with a $3,000 tax lien filed last year.
The two sisters told Boyle that they are going to try and salvage what they can from their mother's home.
Sanders said she cannot believe her brother ignored their mother for so long in the easy chair she enjoyed sitting in while reading.
"Seeing her day after day," Sanders said.
"He just left here there," Askren interjected.
The sisters' anger at their brother is almost unspeakable.
"He's dead to us just like Mom," Sanders said. "He's dead."
Askren hopes her brother faces even more charges.
"I hope someone kills him in prison," she said. "I hope they do because he won't know the hell my mother went through."
Click here and here for previous coverage on this story.
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