Skip to comments.Coffin in Living Room Led to Florida Incest Arrest
Posted on 02/28/2002 7:36:19 AM PST by Dallas
MOORE HAVEN, Fla. (Reuters) - Acting on a tip that a Florida family was keeping a child's casket in their living room, police discovered a 53-year-old man living on an isolated farm with his sister as a couple and their 13 children and grandchildren, authorities said on Wednesday.
No charges were filed against the pair for digging up the remains because the statute of limitations had run out but police filed a single charge of incest against the man. He was being held Wednesday at the Glades County Jail on $150,000 bond.
Holley said the sister had not yet been charged in the ongoing investigation into one of the most bizarre incidents in memory in rural Glades County, a citrus-growing area bordering Florida's Lake Okeechobee.
"Some of our norms are defined by law. Some people don't agree with the norms and they live outside the law," Holley said. "Our main concern was for the welfare of the children."
Investigators believe the 13 children were delivered and schooled at home. They described the house as orderly and the children as disciplined.
"You have to wonder. Didn't they know this wouldn't work out?" Holley said.
Were the grandchildren from incestuous relationships too?
Ewwwwhhhhh! In a subconsciously-imposed and self-protecting blindness, my mind slipped right by that possibility.
Well, I didn't see any sons and daughter in laws mentioned.
So much for lunch.
I notice all reports lump the children and grandchildren together as "13".
Like they don't want any details known.
That's the FIRST question I have. The SECOND question I have is - what's in it for the TIPSTER? Somehow I don't see altruism as the motivating factor here...
In addition, we have "children AND grandchildren." One assumes that the grandchildren are 2nd generation to the issue of the original parents. So that means that AT LEAST TWO of the CHILDREN have borne at least one offspring. Counting gestation, that would put the two eldest kids (once again, an assumption) at about 13-14 at the LEAST today, based upon average menarche in this country of 11.5 years of age.
"Wull, Ah'd say dis heah bin goan AWN a whahl..."
GLADES COUNTY, Fla. -- Officials said a tip led police to a family secret deep in an orange grove where an alleged brother and sister raised a family and kept the body of one of their children at the foot of their bed.
Samuel Patrick (pictured, left) appeared in Glades County court Wednesday, charged with incest. His wife, Debbie (pictured, below), who police said is also his sister, watched with no emotion, along with two of the couple's nine children.
The arrest started with a tip that something was awry at the Okeechobee cemetery where the Patricks' youngest son was buried 12 years ago.
Cemetery workers said that when deputies dug up the grave of Joshua Patrick (pictured, below), they found no casket, just an empty Styrofoam cooler. Deputies found the casket, containing the 8-month-old's body, inside the family's home deep in a rural orange grove.
A source close to the family said that for 12 years the couple kept the casket inside a trunk, and often snickered when guests unknowingly sat on the trunk.
Police also discovered four grandchildren at the house.
A source said the couple's daughters began getting mysteriously pregnant when they reached adolescence. The parents blamed it on boys sneaking in the windows.
"They need to hang him. I mean, just stake him out. Tie his legs and his heels," neighbor Shirley Montgomery said.
Neighbors said the children, who were all home-schooled, were not allowed to talk or play with anyone outside the family.
Some neighbors said it was common knowledge that the Patricks were brother and sister.
"Because they are so isolated, they don't come in contact with the public. It's not an area with much going on, (so) it didn't come to the public's attention that easily," Glades County police chief Kenneth Holley said.
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