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Twins 'lived with mother's corpse'

Two middle aged twins have been charged with the murder of their 89-year-old mother whose body lay rotting for three months in the hallway of their Texas house.

The Houston men allowed her to die on the floor after she fell, then lived with her decomposing, insect-infested corpse, police said.

Edwin Larry Berndt and his brother, Edward Christian Berndt, 48, were arrested when police went to check on Sybil Berndt, prompted by a neighbour who called to say the elderly woman had not been seen since January.

Edwin Berndt answered the officer's knocks and initially said "everyone was fine and there was no need for the police at their home," according to court documents.

The officer insisted she had to see Berndt's mother and he let her into the house.

The home was in "deplorable condition and smelled terribly," and the elderly Berndt was laying face down on the floor of the hallway, according to the documents.

Sybil Berndt was dressed in a night-gown pulled up under her arms and was not wearing underwear. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition.

The brothers told police their mother had fallen and died, and that they did not have enough money to bury her. They said they did not call police because they did not want to go to jail.

Police searched the home and found bank statements totalling about 700,000 dollars (£450,000), according to court documents.

The twins later told police they lived with their mother and cared for her. On January 10, Edwin Berndt said he and his brother were watching the a Championship football game when their mother "came in ranting and raving and she then fell down and did not get up."

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