Hoarder Dies When First Floor Collapses

Conn. woman buried under junk she collected
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2014 1:01 AM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2014 5:30 AM CDT
Hoarder Dies When First Floor Collapses
Junk stacked inside the home of a Las Vegas hoarder.   (AP Photo/City of Las Vegas via Las Vegas Review-Journal)

A Connecticut woman died under the junk she had spent many years amassing when the weight of it all caused her home's first floor to collapse. Police found the body of 66-year-old Beverly Mitchell on Saturday after a letter carrier warned that mail had been piling up at her home for more than a week, the Cheshire Citizen reports. After determining the building was structurally unsound, investigators had to cut into the side of it. They began to remove debris using a backhoe, and her body was eventually found in the basement, where it had been buried when the first floor fell in.

Police believe Mitchell had been dead for at least a week. The clutter that filled her home was "just junk," a police spokesman tells Reuters. "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." He says social services had offered to help her many times, but had been rebuffed. "It's unfortunate because ... we've tried all along to get her assistance, but she was a very private and solitary lady," he tells the AP. (Click to read about the unusual case of a San Francisco rat hoarder.)

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