Fairbanks police: Caregiver kept murder victim in slum-like home

Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2000

FAIRBANKS - Weeks before his death David Haynes was living in slum-like conditions without running water while his unlicensed care givers had full access to his bank account, according to Fairbanks Police.

Police have charged Eric J. Gorham, 55, of Fairbanks, with the murder of Haynes, 74.

Gorham and his wife, Eugenie, were live-in care givers for Haynes in his South Fairbanks apartment when he was found dead by police last month.

Court documents state an autopsy performed on Haynes revealed that he died from ``multiple blunt force trauma,'' which included three broken ribs and multiple blows to the head with a blunt instrument.

Police Detective Aaron Ring said Haynes' home had been without running water for weeks, due to a broken water pipe. He said the Turner Street residence did have electricity, but that heat was provided only by an electric space heater.

Detective Randy Coffey said the toilet was used for some time, despite the fact that the drainage system was frozen, making toilet flushing impossible.

Ring said Haynes lived in a filthy environment, but could have afforded much better living conditions.

``It does appear that the amount of money coming in would have provided a better lifestyle for Mr. Haynes than what he was living,'' he said.

Ring said Haynes was receiving payments from Social Security and from a government pension. Haynes was retired from a civilian job at Fort Wainwright.

Police are investigating how Haynes' money was spent, Ring said.

The Gorhams started caring for Haynes in 1998 at the request of Eugenie's father, George Burgess. Ring said Haynes was an old friend of Burgess'.

Ring did not know what medical condition Haynes had that required care from the Gorhams. Haynes also did not have any family living in Alaska.

Sally Hale, with the state Division of Senior Services, Adult Protective Services and Assisted Living Licensing in Fairbanks, said the Gorhams are not licensed care givers. She said it appears the arrangement between the Gorhams and Haynes was a private one.

Eugenie Gorham has not been charged in connection with the death of Haynes.

Eric Gorham has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of an adult. If convicted on the murder charge, he could face up to 99 years in prison.

His trial is scheduled to begin May 14.

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