A Houston Hoarder man was apparently found dead in his townhome on Friday, buried under 4 feet of debris. Residents were alerted to a “strange odor,'' and the man was discovered.
daily mail report The decomposed body of a man in his 70s was found in a Houston townhome on Friday. Residents became worried because they had not seen the man in months. Houston fire officials and police responded after neighbors said the odor had become too much to ignore.
Authorities said the condition of the home was so poor that they had to call for help. Texas Equsearch Friday to discover the man's body. Responders showed up at the home fully equipped with gloves, masks and hazmat suits. They apparently found rats and a pile of debris that was making it difficult to get through the house.
Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller said:[y]Just when you think you've seen it all, you realize you haven't seen it yet. ”
“I just don't understand how anyone could live under those conditions,” neighbor Neil Zimmerman said. Zimmerman apparently serves on the board of the Shadow Pines Townhomes homeowners association.
KTRK-TV report Residents in the area were said to be aware of the problem of hoarding by men. They said they tried to resolve the man's situation until state officials pointed out that the man claimed it was a pet rat and intended to get rid of it.
Luis Miranda, another HOA board member, said:[w]As soon as I knocked and opened the screen, I noticed a strange smell. ”
Board members noted that the HOA would likely be responsible for drafting legislation to remove the townhomes. According to the report, they said, “I wish I had helped the man sooner.''
“It's very sad. There's no one here to take him in or check on him,” Miranda said. “I feel like we did everything we could, but we didn't have anywhere else to go. We tried going to town, but we just couldn't get him any help. ”
Experts say the prevalence of hoarding has increased since the pandemic, suggesting that sadness, anxiety and the ease of one-click shopping may be to blame.
“The pandemic has been such a difficult experience for everyone involved that rates of all stress responses have increased, including increased hoarding behavior,'' said Dr. David Nathan, a psychologist at Allina Health in Minneapolis. ” he said.
The body was removed by the Harris County Forensic Laboratory. The cause of death is still unknown and will be determined by a doctor's diagnosis.
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