HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Deputies responding to a welfare check Thursday
morning made a gruesome discovery at a northwest Harris County home
when they found the dismembered body of a 72-year-old woman in a box.
County sheriff's deputies were called to the home in the 11100 block of
Cactus Point, which is near Barker Cypress and Cypress North Houston,
after family members said they had not heard from Lucila Barnes since
reported her missing and told deputies that when they tried to reach
her at her home, her son brandished a firearm and would not let them in
the house, the sheriff's office said.
When deputies arrived, her
son, identified as Robert Barnes, 36, gave conflicting stories and was
not cooperative, investigators said. Once they obtained a search
warrant, investigators found a large amount of blood inside the home
before locating Lucila Barnes' body inside a box in the garage that
investigators believe her son had built.
"Sad and horrific case," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
Barnes has been charged with murder and tampering with a corpse in
connection with her death. An autopsy will determine how the woman was
Court records show that in 2019 Robert Barnes was charged
with threatening his ex-girlfriend after he allegedly told her, "I will
kill you and your family to prove my point."
That charge was dismissed because he was convicted in another case, records show.
attorney at the time, Michael J. Edwards, told ABC13, "That's a
terrible allegation. That's terrible news to hear," when asked Thursday
night about the murder charge.
While the motive behind Lucila
Barnes' death is not clear, Robert Barnes had been living with his
mother for the past few years, according to neighbors.