Merced man lived with dead uncle; charged with elder abuse

FRESNO, Calif.

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Patrick Lara is jailed right now on charges of involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse. Detectives say he was in charge of caring for his 63-year-old uncle, Adrian Lugo. But when Lugo broke his arm, investigators say Lara left him to die on his bed, and then hatched a plan to profit from it.

Investigators say Lara kept other family members out of the house while he used Lugo's ATM card all over the valley -- even at Chukchansi Casino.

Meanwhile, Lugo's body started to decompose in the house. Detectives say Lara was planning to leave town after getting enough of his uncle's money.

They're still looking into possible murder charges, but an autopsy showed no clear cause of death.

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