Twins Lived With Corpse

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 1:54pm

Brothers charged with murder after living with mother's corpse for months.

A set of Houston, Texas twins arrested after police found them living with their mother's body appeared in court on Wednesday.

Edwin and Edward Berndt have been charged with murder in the death of their 89-year-old mother, Sybil.

Houston police said the pair allowed her to die on the floor of the foyer of their home after she fell on January 10.

The brothers are being held in the Harris County Jail with bond set at $500,000.

Some who know the family said the twins are not bad people, but they have some serious mental issues.

"They were mentally challenged and by no means did they murder their mother," said Lourdes Bailey, who attended high school with the twins.

One of the lead detectives working the case said he's not buying it.

"After talking to them, they don't seem to have any mental disabilities or disorders," Sgt. Robert Torres said.

According to Torres, the twins confessed their mother had fallen and died but that they did not report it because they did not have enough money to bury her and because they didn't want to go to jail.

Investigators said they checked Sybil Berndt's bank records and learned that she had $700,000.

"She died about three days after she had fallen. During that time, they did nothing to seek medical attention, or give her food and water," said Torres.

Detectives said the 48-year-old twins lived with their mom's decomposing body for three months.

They were arrested Monday after officers went to check on Sybil Berndt after a neighbor called police, worried because the elderly woman hadn't been seen since January.

Edwin Berndt told investigators that his mother was conscious for three days after she fell and then died on January 13, a day after her 89th birthday.

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