Connecticut hoarder killed by floor
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[June 16, 2014]
BOSTON (Reuters) - A 66-year-old
Connecticut woman was found dead in the basement of her home after the
first floor collapsed under the weight of a waist-deep pile of
newspapers, bottles and other household detritus, local police said on
Police in the suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, responded to the
home of Beverly Mitchell on Thursday after a local mail carrier
alerted them that her deliveries were piling up outside the
They were unable to locate her but concluded that the house was
structurally unsound, returning to continue their search on Friday
before locating the woman's body on Saturday, said Patrol Sergeant
Kevin O'Donnell of the Cheshire police.
"It appears, at least, that the floor gave way," O'Donnell said.
"All the items that she had collected for many years covered her as
the floor sank down into the basement."
O'Donnell said that local authorities had long been aware of the
woman's living situation and had sent social services teams to try
to help her but were rebuffed.
The death appears to have been accidental, with no signs of criminal
activity, he said. Police believe she had been dead for about a week
before they were alerted.
An internet image of the property, showed a small house hidden
behind trees in a suburb some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of
There was no particular pattern to the items the woman had retained,
said O'Donnell, who was among the officers to respond to the scene.
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"It's just junk," he said. "She just never threw anything away.
Mail, packages, bottles lots of papers, newspapers, magazines, you
name it. Piled to the ceiling in most rooms. There was a waist-high
layer in the room she had been living in."
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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