Local family seeks better living conditions

"They used the cooking stove for years to heat the house."
Heather Chapin-Fowler
Dec 2, 2013

Thanks to the generosity of a few local residents, the disabled family in New London had a heat source this weekend.

Two residents and the Salvation Army, brought them a space heater which Helen Searl, the mother of Fredrick and Scott Biller, bundled up in front of wrapped in a comforter Friday afternoon.

On the front of the mobile home, padlocks are secured on the entrance doors of the family's West Washburn residence.

The Huron County Job and Family Services division of the Adult Protective Services office was closed Friday, so no information could be obtained as to what the family's case-worker, Nakita McCann, is doing about the situation.

Fire Chief John Chapin is launching an investigation into whether the padlocks are a violation of any fire and safety codes on Monday, he said Friday evening.

"I can't call the Richland County State Fire Marshal's Office on a weekend unless there has been a suspicious fire. But, I can take a drive past there in the morning and make a suggestion (to remove the padlocks)," Chapin said.

Saturday and Sunday, the padlocks remained on the family's mobile home, sometimes with the padlock hanging open and other times with the locks closed.

The home is owned by Lillian Thompson, of Ohio 60, Greenwich, according to municipal and country records. Thompson owns several properties in New London, according to the county auditor's website.

Thompson sued Searl in 2004 for the title of the mobile home for less than $500 in back rent owed on the lot, according to Norwalk Municipal Court records.

The approximate 780-square-foot home was built in 1982 and is currently valued at $4,100, according to the Huron County auditor's website.

Thompson has known that the mobile home's furnace has been inoperable for some time, but has not fixed it, according to the family's close friend Scott Kidd, also a New London resident.

"They used the cooking stove for years to heat the house now," Kidd said. But, the stove broke and the family was left without heat as the temperatures dropped this fall.

Kidd has known Scott Biller all his life and has watched over the family as best as he could, he said.

Kidd has a file of the agencies and people he has personally contacted advocating for help for the family. However, he has run into obstacle after obstacle and has had no luck finding any assistance for them. Most recently, Kidd called McCann, but she hasn't returned his calls, he said.

Kidd has also contacted Christie Lane, an agency specializing in children and adults with disabilities, but they haven't been able to offer any help. "I keep calling them and asking what is taking so long, but they say there's a waiting list," Kidd said.

"(The agencies) bounce me all over the place.... It's very frustrating," Kidd said.

Searl said she has lived in the village for 74 years. She will turn 75 this year.

"(Searl) has worked her ass off for years to keep her family together," Kidd said.

Searl said she doesn't mind moving with her family to Norwalk or Sandusky, but she's not leaving without her three dogs.

"I got these dogs right off the street and I'm not going anywhere without them," Searl said.

Her son Scott is 52 and Fredrick, who has been the subject of several police calls in the last two months, is 42, Searl said.

Fredrick was deemed incompetent to stand trial in 1992 by the Huron County Common Pleas Court for an unknown felony charge, according to court records. The case was dismissed as a result.

Meanwhile, Fredrick Biller has been charged in Norwalk Municipal Court for gross sexual imposition, aggravated menacing, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, obstructing official business in the years spanning from 1991 to the February. Most recently, he was charged with misusing the 9-1-1- emergency service.

Fredrick has reportedly the intellectual abilities of a person between the age of 5 to 10 years old, Kidd said.

Searl is both physically and intellectually disabled. Scott Biller graduated from high school and works odd jobs in the village, but also has intellectual disabilities, Kidd said.

As far as getting the family suitable housing, Kidd has also tried to help them find a new residence with no success.

Landlords in town are refusing to rent to the family, he said. Police Chief Mike Marko confirmed the landlords' responses in an earlier interview.

Kidd attempted to buy a home listed for sale for about $30,000, but couldn't get a bank to finance it. So, Kidd contacted the owner of the home and asked if he would consider renting it to the family, he said.

The owner is Carl Ours II, according to the Huron County auditor's website.

"(Ours) told me, 'Just buy it. I don't want to deal with them.' And, then he turned around and rented it to someone else," Kidd said.

Kidd got the same type of response from landlords who had homes listed for rent on North Railroad and Washburn streets, he said.

Comments

Everyone is fam...

Why are you calling out the owner of the home for sale because they don't want to rent? Maybe they need the money to purchase a new home or maybe they simply don't want the hassle and responsibility to rent.

This article is all over the place, but if I understand correctly, no one wants to rent to a couple of criminals. Can you blame them? I certainly wouldn't with the gross sexual imposition charge especially if there were children living in the area.

Mental disabilities or not, you can't blame anyone for being reluctant to renting to them. So Mr. Kidd, you really shouldn't be pointing fingers and trying to make these landlords sound like they are heartless.

Go after the current landlord for the living conditions, but you can't blame potential landlords for "turning around and renting to someone else".

Commenter

I agree with you 100%!

mera7u

Jocelyn. I see what you mean... Jennifer`s storry is inconceivable... last wednesday I got a great Chrysler from making $8850 this past 4 weeks and-in excess of, ten-grand lass-month. no-doubt about it, this really is the most-comfortable work Ive ever done. I actually started 3 months ago and straight away startad bringin in over $69, p/h. read http://goo.gl/f6e95V

somescrewyname

So the home belongs to Lillian Thompson,is she hoping to make life so miserable for them they move out? if so, I don't think it worked.Helen Searl is both physically and intellectually disabled..... Fredrick has reportedly the intellectual abilities of a person between the age of 5 to 10 years old .......Scott also has intellectual disabilities, Mr Kidd you are to be commended for trying to help these folks out,but we have agencies that get tax money we all pay in for the help of people like this. If just half of this article is true I understand why folks don't want to rent to them, what I don't understand is why the agencies that have been put in place to help people such as this are not helping.if a 42 year old man with the mentality of a 5 year old is in this much trouble ( charged in Norwalk Municipal Court for gross sexual imposition, aggravated menacing, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, obstructing official business )and probably is not competent to face these charges, the family may have to be split up for the safety of all concerned and the neighborhood they will be living in if forced to move.

mgraham5102

Well said.

Commenter

Well said indeed!

Contango

Re: "Thompson has known that the mobile home's furnace has been inoperable for some time, but has not fixed it,"

IMO, put rent money into an escrow account.

Whitebuffalo

Bingo!! The landlord can get the owed money from the clerk of court once repairs are completed. 5321.04 Landlord obligations. As long as the damages weren't caused by the tenants.

CoopersHawk72

OK...so we blame the landlord and the poor guy who did not want to "deal" with their issues? Where is the responsibility for the individuals who do not function in a reasonable capacity? I am accountable for my actions. Most of you out there are held responsible for your actions. Granted handicapped individuals are often given special consideration but there must be limits set and guidelines followed. PD seems to be trying to work on this situation. Don't blame the average Joe for wanting to protect himself.

Most Wanted

Thompson sued Searl in 2004 for the title of the mobile home for $500.00 in back lot rent (at the time from a 64 year old woman)? It's now valued at $4100. Probably valued at around $7,000 in 2004? How in the heck did she get that? No one in the court's thought to themselves "This isn't fair?" This Thompson woman is a gem!

CoopersHawk72

As unpopular as the facts may be, what alternative does a owner have? You rent and the occupant does not pay. Occupants often do not make any attempt to take care of the property. FINALLY the people become an unmanageable part of the locality. Now the law will make the local agencies become involved. You can not help people who are not capable of helping themselves. Back in the eighties facilities to help people in this situation were available. Those facilities are long gone. The idea was to integrate these people into society and school systems with the hope those people would become functional members. How did that work out for us? Most of us, and certainly our children, are subjected to often violent and increasing disruptive individuals who are not willing and/or capable of controlling themselves physically and mentally.

webflowerz1

this sounds horrible .. I don't know any of the people involved but one family comes to mind.. the woman in the wheelchair, with two sons, and supposedly the woman is the mother to both men, but the older son is the father to the younger man.. now that is just the rumor thru town.. and you can only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.. but if this is the family.. I would not rent to them either.. but with that being said.. the county should get these individuals into low income housing.. there are apartments in new London for such as this.. go figure.. those that need the help don't get it, and those that live off the system they do..

newlondonmom

this is exactly the family in the article..

webflowerz1

For some reason I thought it was.. its one of those deals when you walk down the street, you try to not come in contact.. and if the rumors about that family are true.. then shame on them..

LKFisher

my dad, Carl Ours JUNIOR is not a second. he is a junior. where did you learn constructive journalism? that's really the only input I have.

18bgilbert

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

justspoutingoff

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

newlondonmom

Amen!

kURTje

CooperHawk72 you are right. The eighties changed that to this.

Gone2work

Kidd, I think you are disgusting for doing this article. Hopefully, no one sends money to you or that family.

I would never rent to them nor would I let them near my family! Bravo for the Landlords that have said no!

I have nothing else good to say so I will stop here.

queenjhb

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

starryeyes83

That one guy isn't even a landlord, he's a property owner who is simply trying to sell his house. Why even bring his name up?

Simply putting your house up for sale doesn't make you a "potential landlord" .... does it?

This article makes no sense.

Dusty

It said the house is rented at this time. But it's also for sale.
Most landlord's can't take people with pets due to insurance on the property. To many dog bite's at 10K each starts to add up.

humpty_dumpty

i know all here! MR kidd is a great guy who runs a good business who just wants to help a friend out!

With that said i understand why hard for this family to rent- The mother can have very nasty attitude towards people- the younger son is known to peek in windows has a criminal record- the older boy i must say has done odd jobs has always been very friendly in my expierences with him.

I dont understand how woman who rents place doesnt have put a working furnace into the home!ITS a landlords job to keep a place up!

The mother needs make better effort theres places out there for help that give free stove to senoir citizens- that put in fre furnace it dont take much work to find it.

TO the mother why i understand loving animals BE REAL are the 3 dogs more important then finding a home?

Dusty

Who's to say they're actually paying rent? They could be 6 months behind for all we know. The place could be trashed beyond repair. I'm mean come on its a old house trailer. $200.00 for eviction, $500.00 to disassemble it haul it off and you got the fees at the landfill.

CRAZY2

WOW..
#1 The article did NOT say Thompson WON or RECEIVED title to the trailer.
#2 If the trailer is owned by Searls it is HER responsibility to have the furnace fixed.
#3 Is Thompson receiving ANY rent money? Although she is reponsible for fixing the furnace IF she owns it even if she is NOT receiving any, just thinking maybe she figures shes giving them a place to live for free the least they could do is fix it themselves.
#4 I am NOT an appraiser, however I would bet that trailer is and hasn't been worth $500.00 since AT LEAST the time of that lawsuit (2004) if not much longer(I would say the tax office is appraising this for WAY to much, a 31 yr old trailer? it is evident they really havent taken a good look at it.
#5 Just how much was Mr. Kidd going to rent this place he was going to purchase for? Was there a hidden agenda?
#6 Why is a home owner EXPECTED to rent (and named, kind of immature if you ask me)to ANYONE?
#7 I am in a position to rent and I'd be iceskating in he!! before I would rent to them!
It is just more government agencys at their best that have dropped the ball.
It is also interesting to note that a moderator deleted a comment because " it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights)couldn't it be a "personal attack" on that homeowner to name him in the artical?

matt882

What was the Reflector trying to accomplish with this article?

Dr. Information

Hello America. If you have a problem, just blame someone else.

Dusty

Sounds like they are trying to get this rogue family back on track and get them some help. Kind'a sounds like this has went on way to long!

luckyd

Don't you understand that these men are that woman's children, and that she has sacrificed her entire life to caring for and trying to protect them. Doesn't anyone realize that these men are HUMAN BEINGS, with rights. Most people with developmental disabilities know that they are different. They are aware of being made fun of. Those people need help, not hatred and criticism. The majority of the comments on this article are despicable. It is OBVIOUS that the mother is in over her head. It is OBVIOUS that she and her sons need help. You should be outraged that adult services isn't doing their job to step in when help is needed, instead of attacking this family and trying to run them out of your town because of the 'danger' they pose. How many murders are disabled people responsible for every year??? These comments are ridiculous!!! Put them in an institution, are you serious? Do you know what those institutions did to people? God forbid you ever end up with a child with a developmental disability. Maybe then you might know what it's like. You throw salt in the wounds of parents trying to raise children with disabilities by saying such nasty and hateful things. Those men need help, not your nasty comments. Unfortunately, there are a lot more people out there in this situation because all of these adult services do have long waiting lists. You all expect your magical tax dollars to take care of everything, there is only so much money to work with. PRAYING these people get the help they desperately need.

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