ODESSA TEXAS (KMID/KPEJ) — Three Texans accused of starving a woman to death earlier this year were indicted by a Grand Jury. Christine Raines Claros, 48, Justin Raines, 30, and Elvira Luera, 28, have now been charged with murder.
According to court records, on January 29, officers with the Odessa Police Department responded to a home in the 6500 block of Amber Drive to investigate after a woman with Down Syndrome was found dead.
Investigators said 53-year-old Brenda Raines was found on a “filthy” crib mattress on the floor. Brenda was reportedly wearing a soiled diaper and was covered in bedsores; she was also “extremely underweight” and the mattress she had been sleeping on was covered in dog feces and urine.
Claros, Luera and Raines were identified as Brenda’s family members and caretakers, and all three acknowledged that Brenda was unable to walk, speak, feed or bathe herself.
Claros said she was Brenda’s sole caretaker but admitted Luera would sometimes care for Brenda if she were away from the home. She claimed she would never leave Brenda home alone at night, but investigators said security video in the area showed Claros leave the home around 7:30 p.m. on January 28; she didn’t return home until three in the afternoon the following day- when Brenda was found dead.
Raines and Luera admitted they did not check on Brenda at all while Claros was away from home. They also admitted they would not change Brenda when Claros was away and would sometimes neglect to feed her for two days at a time. They said Brenda had lived on the filthy mattress for at least three months and said she slept on the mattress with four dogs.
An autopsy stated Brenda starved to death and ruled her death a homicide. All three were arrested in late July after the autopsy report was completed—they were originally charged with injury to a disabled person.
Raines, Luera and Claros were taken into custody again on September 14 following the Jury’s decision. Each remained in custody as of Thursday afternoon on a $500,000 bond.
A mugshot of Claros was not immediately available.