Elderly man found dead in Grapeland-area field

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Authorities with the Houston County Sheriff's Office say a man found in a tomato field Wednesday morning died of natural causes.

Edward Willis, an in-law of Bill Turner, said Turner had apparently been in the field, which is less than five miles from Turner's house, in the Grapeland-area on Tuesday and never came back.

"He was very likeable, a very likeable person. I mean, he doesn't have an enemy in the world," said Willis.

Willis said authorities called him around 8 a.m. to inform him of Turner's death. Because Turner lives alone, nobody even knew he was missing until he was found dead in the field Wednesday.

"He'd been living here in Grapeland just about all his life. And, he was in his 80s. He just roamed about visiting people, just driving around. That was one of his enjoyments," said Willis.

Willis said Turner had severe diabetes. He was 82. Willis believes Turner's age and poor health led to his death.

"He was like a father to me. I mean, I've known him for forty something years, and I always visit. I saw him a couple days ago, visited with him. And, he was not in his health," said Willis.

According to Mary Jordan at the sheriff's office, an autopsy is not going to be ordered.

Medical Director Patricia Lowrimore tends to about 25 elderly in-patients at Audubon Behavioral Healthcare on a daily basis. She explains it's critical for elderly people to receive the attention and care they need consistently.

"Calling, making sure there's food in the refrigerator, making sure that medical issues are paid attention to," said Lowrimore.

Lowrimore says it's ultimately up to families to decide whether their elderly relative is capable of living on their own or whether a caregiver is needed. Audubon Behavioral Healthcare is just one of several agencies participating in the Annual Caregivers Conference, taking place Thursday at the Lufkin Civic Center. It is open to the public and will address issues such as diet, aging, and mental health. Events take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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