fbpx

‘Held Against My Will’: 20 Dead in Unlicensed Group Home Horror

Man covering hands
Elder man covering hands | Image by Nuttapong punna/Shutterstock

As many as 20 deaths have been reported in an unlicensed group home scheme, where reports of severe abuse, neglect, fraud, and theft were made against the operator of the homes.

The five unlicensed facilities were scattered across Mansfield, Arlington, and Grand Prairie. Throughout the investigation, the death toll of residents has continued to rise. Police now believe that nearly 20 residents have died under caregiver Regla “Su” Becquer’s watch, according to WFAA.

Becquer owned Love and Caring for People LLC, which managed boarding homes for vulnerable individuals who could not live independently without extra assistance.

Angelique Estes, a former resident of an Arlington boarding home, detailed stories of significant abuse. Estes has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk on her own.

“I was held against my will,” Estes told WFAA.

She reported that caretakers hit and kicked her, poured hot water on her, and left her lying in her own feces for days as nobody changed her undergarments.

Estes says she attempted suicide in hopes that her caregiver would call an ambulance, but even then, she remained trapped.

Police recovered Estes in December after responding to a 911 call at the residency. Court documents state that Estes was forced to stay on a mattress on the floor and went multiple days without her diaper being changed.

Becquer was arrested on an endangerment charge for abusing Estes and currently sits in the Tarrant County Jail with a bail of $750,000.

The boarding home Estes resided at previously belonged to Karen Walker, who was also under Becquer’s care. Walker ended up in assisted living after her diabetes led to her persistently falling and having to be admitted to the hospital.

Roger Simon, Walker’s cousin, claimed that Becquer transferred Walker from her own home into one of the other living facilities. Walker didn’t have a private phone at the residence, meaning family and friends had to call Becquer to talk to Walker.

In one call with his cousin, Simon said that Walker sounded disoriented and told him, “I gotta get out of here. They’re trying to kill me.”

Walker died in October 2022 of cardiovascular disease. Walker allegedly left a “will” in the form of a one-paragraph handwritten note dated 19 days before her death, stating, “This is my will. I leave my entire estate to my friend, Regla Su Becquer.”

“I thought it was fake from the beginning,” Simon told WFAA. He reported that Walker’s financial advisor even said the signature on the will didn’t match Walker’s.

“It was going to cost an astronomical amount of money to contest it, and I’m a senior citizen surviving on Social Security,” said Simon, who chose not to fight the case.

Ultimately, records obtained by WFAA showed that Becquer inherited Walker’s home, valued at $223,000, and more than $75,000 from Walker’s bank accounts.

Because there were no witnesses at the will signing, two people had to swear in court that it was indeed Karen Walker’s handwriting. The two individuals who affirmed the signature were Becquer and Tiffany Brown.

Brown also runs boarding homes in Grand Prairie. She was previously sued by Texas’ health and human services agency for operating an unlicensed assisted living facility, according to WFAA.

The report came in March after Grand Prairie police found a 76-year-old woman “covered in feces.” She had “sores on her buttocks that had come from not moving” that were so bad the victim “could not lay on her back.”

Also in March, police spoke to a 56-year-old woman under Brown’s care who “developed bed sores to the point where a bone in her back is exposed and needed surgery.”

Brown’s landlord recently evicted her from the home she was renting after it was discovered that Brown was running an unlicensed boarding home on the premises, violating the lease.

Police arrested Brown on two criminal negligence charges, but she was later released on bail totaling $35,000. Her bonds were subsequently deemed insufficient and a warrant has been placed for her arrest.

WFAA also uncovered documents that show another one of Becquer’s clients wrote a will just over three months before dying, leaving her home and all of her money to Becquer’s mom.

Becquer’s mother reportedly lives in one of the former assisted living facilities in Grand Prarie.

Victor Lister, a former employee of Becquer’s, claimed that when one of her clients died, Becquer would store their medications in the trunk of her car and give them to other clients.

“A dead man’s pharmacy is what I called it,” Lister said, per WFAA.

Tenants of assisted living facilities are an easy target for criminals since they are separated from their loved ones and often have disabilities, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

“These are the perfect victims,” Arlington Police Lt. Kimberly Harris said in a press conference. “Some of them were being physically assaulted. Some of them were being neglected.”

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that at least 10% of adults age 65 and older will experience at least one form of elder abuse, with financial abuse as the most common.

The investigation is ongoing.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article