At Thanksgiving after my dad’s brain surgery, I drove to San Angelo to cook the meal and celebrate the feast with my family. Dad had lost a few pounds since the surgery, but he ate well and was happy. When I next visited at the beginning of January, dad had lost a significant amount of weight and was bedridden. I was shocked and frightened. After conversations with Christine, special food was bought for dad – a liquid food which is given to those who are having difficulty digesting their food. It didn’t help – because TH was pouring it down the toilet.
After reading over all the notes and testimonies that I collected about that time, I have a suspicion that TH wasn’t just not feeding dad, she was giving him diet pills. TH had shared some diet pills that she had used with Christine, as she knew Christine was trying to lose weight. TH said the pills worked wonders and caused a rapid weight loss. Christine never took the pills and eventually turned them into the police after TH was accused of elder abuse.
If dad was bedridden and not eating, he would have lost weight, but not at the rate he had lost it. He was taking medication which caused excessive sleepiness – trying to end the panic attacks. With a lower metabolism and lack of movement, the weight loss would have been slower than I witnessed.
By the time dad died the medication would likely have cleared his system, so that no trace would be found at the time of the autopsy.
Marissa Avila reported to the police that TH brought outside medications into the home. We know that TH changed the medication schedule, giving mom some of her pills during the day to cause her to sleep more. She also had brought lorazepam into the home to cause mom to sleep. What else had she brought into the home?