‘He is severely mentally ill:’ Woman grieving after Lubbock police say her brother assaulted their mother

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2023 at 12:10 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A South Texas woman is grieving, after police say her brother’s actions led to their mother’s death here in Lubbock.

Detectives are now investigating the 2022 death of 60-year-old Julie Arellano, after the medical examiner’s office ruled it a homicide.

Arellano died on Dec. 16, 2022, police say from the injuries she suffered nearly a year before. Wednesday, months after her death, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled it a homicide.

On Feb. 2, 2022, officers responded to reports of an assault near 32nd and Milwaukee. Upon arrival, officers were told Arellano had already been transported to Covenant.

Investigators believe Arellano was assaulted by her son, 32-year-old Auston Arellano. He was arrested and charged with assault. Ms. Arellano was placed in hospice and died from her injuries months later.

Arellano’s sister, Emily Arellano, lives in South Texas. She her mother and brother moved back to Lubbock after their father died in late 2021. She says her brother struggled with mental health issues, and her mother would Facetime her with bruises visible on her face.

“I always will love him for the childhood that we shared, but the person he is now is severely mentally ill and he needs as much help as he can get,“ Arellano said. “I begged my mother for ages to do something with him, whether institutionalized or hospitalized or what have you. And unfortunately, she wasn’t strong enough, and now I don’t have any of them. So, it’s quite a lot.”

The police report from the incident in February last year shows Arellano assaulted his mother on multiple occasions. This time, she told officers he began hitting her multiple times on her head and midsection.

She said she tried to leave, but Arellano pulled her back inside. She was eventually able to get to a nearby gas station and call for help and was taken to the hospital.

Only a week later, another police report shows Arellano threatened to kill his mother and bury her in the back yard. The report states he hit her on the top of the head.

Now that’s she’s gone, Emily says she misses her mother every day.

“My mom, stubborn as the day is long, and that’s part of why I think that she put up with it as long as she did, because she wasn’t going to take anyone telling her otherwise. If you told her to go left, she’d go right. She was very much her own person, very independent, and the strongest woman that I have ever known,” she said.

Arellano says abusive activity in her family didn’t start with her brother and she can only hope it ends with her. She says to never stop advocating for your loved ones dealing with mental health issues.

“She never stopped advocating for my brother, even with everything that happened, even with the end results of everything, she never stopped advocating. Always advocate for the mentally ill. If they need assistance, get assistance. There’s so much support out there for everyone, it’s just a matter of making the personal choice to get it,” Arellano said.

Arellano was arrested in November in Guadalupe County on a burglary charge. Law enforcement discovered he had outstanding arrest warrants in Lubbock County and transferred him here a month later.

Arellano is currently in jail on assault charges, but police say these new revelations could lead to more. Tonight, he’s in custody at the Lubbock County Detention Center.