PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A woman in Ohio says she was deeded the home of the suspect accused of killing a prominent Houston doctor.
Three days after the July 20 attack when Joseph Pappas allegedly shot and killed Dr. Mark Hausknecht, Jeanette Spencer received documents in the mail saying Pappas' home had been deeded to her.
According to the News-Herald, a newspaper in Ohio, Spencer says the deed was executed in February 2017, but recorded July 23 at the Harris County Courthouse.
“I called him on the 24th, and he said he had a terminal illness, and that’s why he deeded (me) the house,” said Spencer, who has known Pappas for about 25 years.
On July 30, one of Spencer's daughters was supposed to meet with Pappas while she was visiting Houston.
Spencer said she received a text from him that day saying he was going to commit suicide miles from home and gave her detailed instructions on securing his home.
“Sorry for handling things this way,” one of the texts said. “House and property is now yours. Please make best use of it for you and (your daughter).”
Spencer said she immediately called her daughter to try to contact him and called the police. Phone calls to Pappas went straight to voicemail.
Spencer told the newspaper another one of her daughters knew Pappas was angry with “a doctor” over the death of his mother but didn’t know the doctor's name.
Pappas, a former Houston law enforcement officer, took Spencer's daughter under his wing when she lived in Houston years ago. The daughter, who spoke with WKYC, KHOU's sister station in Cleveland, Ohio, said she was a homeless runaway from Painesville, Ohio, and Pappas helped her get off the streets in Houston.
Spencer's daughter said Pappas arrested her a few times for loitering and he inspired her to turn her life around. She was shocked to hear of his suicide.
Spencer said Pappas and her daughter communicated regularly up until his disappearance.
Spencer said she and her family are in disbelief and a bit overwhelmed by the national media attention. She described Pappas as smart and helpful.
“I never expected this at all,” she said. “I don’t know. (My daughter) didn’t want to believe it.”
A cover letter came with the deed record and expressed admiration for Spencer and her care of one of her daughters, who has special needs.