Man pleads for brother to talk to cops
By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News
Published December 4, 2008
TEXAS CITY — A woman found barely alive in her house last week is “miraculously” improving, one of her sons said Wednesday
Aaron Martelli also said he wants his half brother, who police officers suspect made the 911 call that alerted them to the woman’s condition, to come out of hiding and talk to police.
Martelli said his mother, Linda Sue Sainz, was “improving better than anyone could imagine.”
Sainz, 62, remained in Mainland Medical Center on Wednesday, five days after police found her on the floor of her Texas City home.
Police said her home was filthy, that she was malnourished and that maggots were feeding on open sores on her back.
“Of course she is still weak, but she is talking and coherent,” said Martelli, the oldest of Sainz’s four children. “Every day is a marked difference.”
Police are still trying to piece together how Sainz, who had a history of medical ailments, ended up in such a poor state.
Officers were tipped to her predicament by a mysterious 911 call late Friday night by a man claiming to be Sainz’s son.
“My mom has laid here and gotten bad sick,” the caller told a police dispatcher. “She has open sores and other problems and she needs to get to a hospital.”
When police arrived at the house the caller was gone and Sainz was on the floor of the living room. Investigators said they are certain the call was made by Sainz’s son, Jonathan Benjamin Smith, 38, who lived with his mother.
Police Capt. Brian Goetschius said officers want to talk to Smith but have been frustrated in their efforts to find him. Smith doesn’t have a driver’s license, a criminal record or any records indicating he owns property or even has a mobile phone, Goetschius said.
Martelli made a plea Wednesday for his half brother to come forward.
“Just come in and talk — that’s the point we are at right now,” Martelli said. “We don’t have all the pieces, and in the long run it’s going to be better out of respect for our mother.
“If there is a liability, just man up. This isn’t the way to handle it.”
He said his brother lived with Sainz “all his life, and he was the one taking care of her.”
Martelli said he had no idea how bad of a condition his mother was in until police found her last week. The last time he spoke to her was a month ago by phone.
“She was talking fine, just like you and I are talking now,” Martelli said. “She previously said her leg was hurting, but when we talked she said she was doing better.”
He knows differently now.
“If there is someone you haven’t talked to, just don’t contact them, put your eyeballs on them,” he said.
Martelli said his focus now is on seeing that his mother recovers and with that comes a pledge.
“As horrifying as it was — and it was horrifying what happened to her — she is out of that situation now, and she won’t be going back into that again.”
Goetschius said the district attorney’s office asked for more evidence in the case. No determination has been made about whether criminal neglect charges would be pursued, he said.
“We are collecting the facts to determine if charges can even be filed,” he said.
Making a call to 911 but not staying around for police and EMS to arrive is in itself not a crime, Goetschius said.
Adult Protective Services also is investigating the case.