When James Adams Jr. read about the discovery of his nephew’s body perhaps months after he died, he was not sure what to think.
“I’ve been in shock since,” the California man said. “He had a hard enough life as it was.”
The badly decomposed remains of Robin Lee Adams Jr. were found in his south Augusta home Friday after a family member alerted authorities. The handicapped 23-year-old had been living in a roach-infested home with his mother, Angela Mercer, and sister, Deaidra Motley, who were charged with concealing his death.
James Adams said his family has been trying to piece together what might have happened. He said that when his nephew’s father died in 2008 from complications from a stroke, the family made sure Robin received the life insurance money and set him up with his father’s Social Security.
James Adams said the family wondered whether money might have been involved.
Though his nephew was mentally and physically disabled since birth, James Adams recalled Robin’s reaction when he joked with him that he had become a man after he turned 18.
“He recognized us,” James
Adams said. “He couldn’t talk or walk, but you could tell he recognized us. He was happy to see us.”
Adams said the last time he saw his nephew was in March 2009 at his grandmother’s funeral in Augusta. He said the family visited Robin at home, which was clean.
When he read about the way authorities have described it, covered in roaches and in disrepair, he had a hard time imagining what caused the change. He said Mercer seemed to handle her handicapped son well.
“There was nothing alarming,” he said. “They seemed fine.”
A preliminary autopsy Saturday revealed Adams might have died as long ago as February. The Richmond County coroner’s office is working on subpoenas to get his medical and dental records, which they hope will shed light on how he died.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the autopsy and is bringing in a forensic anthropologist to assist, Coroner Grover Tuten said.