Charges filed in Belleville man's death

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - A Belleville couple is now charged in connection with the death of a disabled man who weighed just 60 pounds.

Elizabeth R. Young, 32, and Richard R. Young, 48, are each charged with one count of criminal neglect of a person with a disability. Police say both were taken into custody without incident.

When Elizabeth and Richard Young were escorted back to jail Monday after their first court appearance, 5 on Your Side's Mike Rush asked them what they have to say about the charges. The couple had nothing to say.

The condition of Richard's disabled older brother, 52-year-old Billy Ray Young, said enough for authorities to charge them. Billy Ray suffered numerous medical issues, including paralysis and blindness, and weighed only 60 pounds when police found his body in the fetal position on a bed in a house on Patricia Lane March 11.

"It was a scene that was unthinkable," said Belleville Detective Mark Heffernan. He says the couple was in charge of Billy Ray's care, but did not feed him, clean him, or tend to his medical needs properly.

"The lack of care from the able bodied adults and the residents contributed to this individual's death," he said.

"I sit there since I'm retired and watch the whole world from there," said Jesse Vargas, who lives a few doors down from the Youngs. He saw them get arrested Monday morning.

Until Billy Ray's death, Vargas didn't even know he lived there.

Police say two young girls, one in elementary school, the other in middle school lived with the Youngs, along with a disabled 23-year-old man. Police say none them appeared neglected. The kids are in the care of the state, the young man is with a relative.


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