Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Charged With Abuse for Letting Obese Wife Die in Filth

Michael Brooks, 37. Police photo.

Michael Brooks, 37, of Warren, Mich., is facing a charge of second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult for allegedly letting his injured, 400-pound wife die surrounded by maggots and waste. Yolanda Reese-Brooks, 40, had been bedridden after suffering a crushed pelvis and ruptured bladder as a result of a 2011 auto accident. Since the collision, her husband served as her primary caretaker, but, police say, had neglected Reese-Brooks for eight or nine days prior to her death.

Police wearing Hazmat gear had to remove Reese-Brooks, who was clinging to life, from the home. She died later at the hospital from causes related to obesity and injuries from her accident. Police say the home, where the couple’s 2-year-old twins, an 11-year-old, and 13-year-old also lived, was filthy infested with insects. There was no food save for some rotting meat in the refrigerator, and no beds for the children, according to police.

Brooks is free on $10,000 bond but is not allowed to have contact with the children, who have been placed with Reese-Brooks’ sister. He is due back in court in two weeks.

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