Northeast Philly Man to Stand Trial for Father's Starvation Death

Investigators say Thomas Houck withheld food from his 82-year-old father and severely neglected his mother

A Northeast Philadelphia man was held for trial after a preliminary hearing Tuesday on murder and other charges in connection with the death of his 82-year-old father and the severe neglect ot his mother by starvation.

Thomas Houck, 57, of Torresdale, was charged with third degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, felony theft and abuse of a corpse.

His next court appearance is a July 17 arraignment.

Police say that paramedics found 82-year-old Leonard Houck dead in the basement of the Northeast Philadelphia home. Police said it was Houck's wife who notified authorities.

The medical examiner determined on Feb. 27 that the elderly man died of dehydration and malnutrition. Police say the victim weighed just 79 pounds.


The suspect told police his father died several days before and that he did not know what to do with the body, according to investigators.

Police say the suspect also severely neglected his mother. She was found malnourished but is recovering. Hauck is facing recklessly endangering the welfare of another person charges for the treatment of his mother.

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