An elderly veteran was found mortally wounded outside of a home care facility in Houston last March. The coroner’s report noted that Hubert Heatherly, who had been found bleeding next to his wheelchair only a few feet from the entrance of the home care facility died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Hubert Heatherly was found on March 24 by a nurse who worked at the care facility. The 79-year-old veteran is reported to have enjoyed sitting outside of the gated home care facility while he smoked. According to witnesses, he also had a penchant for playing with some of the neighborhood dogs.
The nurse who found Mr. Heatherly initially thought he had fallen out of his wheelchair and become hurt as a result. He had been living at this facility for almost 10 years after he completed a prison sentence. It was not noted by authorities why he had served time in prison in the first place.
First responders arrived around 8:30 PM and Mr. Heatherly was transported to a hospital where he died three days later.
As noted by the news publication Chron, in the blog, Man in wheelchair may have been beaten to death outside Houston home care facility, written by Nicole Hensley:
“The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science depicted the fatal injuries as “blunt force trauma to the head” in a phone call to the man’s estranged son, John Heatherly, who had assumed that his father had died years earlier in prison. It took about two weeks for the medical examiner’s office to track down a next of kin for the elder Heatherly.
Save for a single prison letter, John had not heard from his father in nearly three decades, he said Thursday.
“I didn’t even know he was still alive. I tried to find him a few years ago,” the son said, never knowing that he had been living in Houston.”
At the time of the incident, local police authorities had reached out to the community for anyone with information regarding this crime. There was no immediate word on whether or not police had identified a suspect as of the time of the writing of this article.
Having been found within 4 feet of a home care facility, this type of incident can certainly rattle residents and even staff workers, especially if the motive for the crime is unclear. Home care workers, including visiting nurses, often face difficult circumstances, especially at night when their support and direct care is required and they need to walk several blocks or get from their car to the home in a poorly lit environment, especially where crime rates may be higher.