Developmentally Disabled Man Allegedly Did Labor for Caretaker Before Body Was Found Encased in Concrete
Carl DeBrodie was found dead inside a storage unit in April 2017
Five people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the 2017 death of a developmentally disabled Missouri man whose body was found in a garbage can encased in concrete.
Caretakers Sherry K. Paulo, 53, and Anthony R. Flores, 58, are the only two who face felony charges in the death of 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie. Both are charged with client neglect, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, abandonment of a corpse and making a false report, Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher D. Wilson said in a press release.
Paulo and Flores took care of DeBrodie at Second Chance Homes in Fulton, the Associated Press reports. The AP reports that according to investigators, DeBrodie disappeared from the home in the fall of 2016, but he wasn’t reported missing until April of 2017 — about a week before his encased body was found.
The same claim is made in a federal wrongful death suit filed by DeBrodie’s mother and obtained by PEOPLE against Second Chance Homes, which also names Paulo and Flores.
According to the complaint, prior to DeBrodie’s death, Paulo allegedly took DeBrodie to her home in Fulton and forced him to do manual labor, making DeBrodie and another Second Chance resident sleep in her basement with no bed or mattress.
The complaint also alleges that Paulo forced the two men to fight each other. “As a result of these forced fighting engagements, Carl suffered serious injuries, including at least six broken ribs,” the complaint alleges.
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The complaint also alleges that somewhere between October 25, 2016 and November 24, 2016, DeBrodie died after he was found unresponsive and convulsing on the floor of Paulo’s basement. Instead of calling 911 when they saw him convulsing, Flores and a resident of Second Chance placed him in a bathtub with the shower running, the complaint alleges.
After his death, DeBrodie was allegedly left in the bathtub for two or three days before he was dumped in the trash can on which cement was then poured before being placed in a storage unit, where his body was ultimately found.
Attorneys for Paulo or Flores have not filed a response to the suit. Paulo’s civil attorney could not be reached for comment. No attorney was listed for Flores in online documents.
Also named in the complaint are county and state mental health officials, who according to the complaint didn’t have “a policy, procedure, or custom in place whereby reports of mandated, quarterly or monthly face-to-face contacts could be audited and/or verified by an individual other than the one making the report.”
In a response to the complaint, Second Chance Homes in Fulton denied any wrongdoing.
“No criminal wrongdoing is alleged on the part of the company,” Second Chance Homes attorney Zach Vaughn tells PEOPLE.
He adds, “The claim against Second Chance is that the actions of these employees were within the course and scope of their employment, and we deny that any such actions, if they are true, were within the course and scope of what Second Chance hired them to do.”
Speaking about Sherry Paulo, Vaughn says she was in “a fairly high-level position,” and adds, “There is some misplaced trust here. Retrospectively, looking back on it [we] trusted the wrong person but there was nothing in her hiring or her employment with Second Chance up to this point that it put anyone on notice that she was capable of these actions, and this goes for the other employees as well.”
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Also charged in the case are 32-year-old Anthony R.K. Flores, Shaina A. Osborne, 29, and Mary K. Paulo, 34. All three are charged with making a false report, a misdemeanor.
Sherry Paulo’s criminal defense attorney Andrew Popplewell tells PEOPLE his client has pleaded not guilty. It is unclear who is representing Anthony R. Flores or if he has entered a plea.
Mary K. Paulo’s criminal defense attorney Brady Wimer tells PEOPLE that his client has also entered a plea of not guilty. It is unclear if Anthony R.K. Flores or Osborne have entered pleas or retained attorneys.
The five defendants were indicted by a grand jury in March but the indictment had been under seal until Tuesday at the request of Wilson, the prosecutor. Wilson said in a press release Tuesday that the indictment was kept under seal until he was “fully satisfied” that state charges wouldn’t negatively impact a potential prosecution of federal criminal charges.
The indictment ordered that Sherry Paulo and Anthony R. Flores be held without bond. Anthony R.K. Flores was ordered to be held on a $2,000 bond and Shaina Osborne was ordered be held on a $3000 cash only bond. Mary Paulo was held on a $2000 cash only bond but has since been released from custody.