The Latest: Special needs child, 7, died at Texas home

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RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — The Latest on seven special-needs teenagers removed from a Texas home after being found in 'deplorable' conditions (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Texas officials say a 7-year-old child died in the same Houston-area home where seven special-needs teenagers were locked away in a closet by their adoptive mother.

Tiffani Butler, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said Tuesday that the child died in January 2011 at the Richmond home. She wouldn't discuss the circumstances of the death.

That child also had special needs. Butler says the other seven were not removed from the home when the 7-year-old died but that they all lived there at the time. The teens were removed Nov. 23.

Butler says no charges were filed in the child's death.

Officials say the seven teens are in state custody after being found in a single room that smelled of human waste.

The teens' adoptive mother and another person have been arrested.


10:30 a.m.

A sheriff says seven special-needs teenagers aged 13 to 16 years old have been removed from "deplorable" conditions at a Houston-area home where they were locked for long periods in a closet.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said in a statement Monday that detectives went to the home Nov. 23. The malnourished teens were kept in a single room that smelled of human waste and had been struck with a wooden paddle. Nehls didn't describe the nature of the youths' special needs except to say one of them has Down syndrome.

Nehls says their adoptive mother, 54-year-old Paula Sinclair, locked them in a 5-by-8-foot closet when she went out.

Sinclair and a second person are facing charges that include injury to a child.

She's being held at the Fort Bend County jail. Online records don't indicate an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

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