‘Live maggots': Affidavit details case involving disabled man's death

AUSTIN - New details have emerged in an alleged neglect case that led to the death of a 26-year-old man with cerebral palsy and the arrest of his 41-year-old mother.

According to police, a man called 911 at around 10 p.m. June 20 to report that his brother, Edgar Carbajal, was not breathing and that he thought he might be dead. He was pronounced dead several minutes after first responders arrived at the residence located off of Prince Drive in North Austin.

A detective spoke with the Carbajal's mother, Erica Yanet Flores, on the scene, who said that Carbajal was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and had never been able to speak. She said she last reported seeing him alive sometime between 3:40 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. that day when she pulled him out of bed, fed him and gave him his medication, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said that when they entered Carbajal's bedroom, they found him laying in his bed with more than one dozen blankets and towels covering his body up to his chest. He was wearing a black stocking cap over his shaggy, shoulder-length hair. They said his eyes were open, and appeared to be sunken and dry. They said his face was "very sallow, with boney features, and he was unshaven." When they pulled back the covers, investigators said his clothing appeared severely soiled with "brown crusty matter, urine and feces." They said that beneath his body and directly on the bed were lumps of solid feces.

During a different interview with Flores, she said she last saw him alive at 11:40 a.m., according to police. Police said she then changed her answer to "10-something" before saying she checked on him at 2:40 p.m. or 3 p.m. and that he was "fine." Flores allegedly repeated to investigators that she was the only one to care for him and that she moved him out of the bed every day. She also allegedly said she had not sought medical attention for him in over one year.

According to the affidavit, when Flores was asked if she knew about the sores on Carbajal's back and stomach, she said she knew about them, but only put baby cream on them because "there was nothing more I could do." She also allegedly said that she couldn't remember the last time she cleaned them, but that it had been a while.

On Aug. 29, police said the lead homicide detective in the case received the autopsy report, which found that Carbajal died from pneumonia caused by bacteremia due to pressure ulcers from the cerebral palsy. The manner of death was ruled a homicide. In the medical examiner's report, a doctor said Carbajal was "wasted and dirty" and weighed 51 pounds. He also said that Carbajal was wearing 15 T-shirts at the time and that his toenails were long, curled and unkempt. He also said that he had live maggots on his body. 

Carbajal's mother, Erica Yanet Flores, was charged with injury to a disabled individual by omission, a first degree felony. Police said this "was determined to be the most appropriate charge to file based on the facts of the case."

Flores was booked in the Travis County Jail on a $75,000 bond on Thursday.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call APD's homicide tip line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

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