METAIRIE, La. – The owner of a house where bones were found in a bed says the skeleton was his father's.
Leroy Adams, 81, died of natural causes, possibly Alzheimer's disease, said Lon Adams, 58. He said he cannot remember just when his father died, and doesn't know why he didn't report the death.
"I couldn't deal with it so I just left him there," Adams said Monday, fighting back tears. "I blocked it out of my mind. I was stressed out after Katrina. I just, just don't know."
Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies found the bones June 3 after Adams' sister reported their father missing. The skeleton was partly covered by a blanket.
Adams said he shared the house with his 31-year-old mentally handicapped son as well as his father, who otherwise would have had to go into a nursing home.
Detectives continue to work with the coroner's office, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
Authorities have said they won't comment further until the remains have been positively identified and the cause of death determined.
Adams said he retired from AT&T in November 2005, exhausted and burned out after Hurricane Katrina; he had been a project manager for 27 years. He also served 28 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1999 as a lieutenant colonel.
Adams said he realizes what he did was wrong and cannot forgive himself, but did nothing to hurt his father.
He was taken into custody after the bones were found, and released after an eight-day mental evaluation.
Adams said he is receiving psychiatric treatment and has cooperated with detectives.
"I have nothing to hide. I spoke to them on two occasions without an attorney," he said.
He said he has since retained attorney Joseph Raspanti because he did not know whether the sheriff's office planned to bring charges against him. Raspanti declined to comment.
Jefferson Parish Code Enforcement officials had cited Adams because of unrepaired roof damage after Katrina and his power was shut off in early June. Adams said he is repairing his roof and will get power back on once that is done.
The roof neglect, he said, was just another symptom of his stress.
He said his biggest worry is for his son.
"I can't explain what happened," Adams said. "I regret it very much."