Coroner: body found hanging in Ohio closet was there for 5 years

Coroner: body found hanging in Ohio closet was there for 5 years

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It was a shocking find and not one any mom would want their child to find. An Ohio woman says her son found a body hanging in a closet and the coroner says the man had been there five years.

Michelle McGrath says her 12-year-old son is adventurous, so when he saw an overgrown house in Dayton, Ohio, he ventured inside. What he saw may have scarred him for life.

"My son came home and said he gone to an abandoned house and he found a body and I said what?" McGrath said.

She said at first he didn't think it was an actual body.

"When he first came across it, he thought it was dummy or a mannequin."

It was neither. It was actually a mummified body of a man believed to be 53-year-old Edward Brunton. Records show he bought the house in October 2009. The coroner says he died shortly after moving in, meaning he was hanging in the closet for five years.

"He was found suspended from the neck from a belt in the closet. It appears to be a suicide," the coroner said.

Taxes have never been paid. The lawn, never cut. And most neighbors said they had never even seen the man.

Alberta Ballard has lived across the street from the home for four decades and was stunned by the discovery.

"I didn't realize that there was anybody in the house," Ballard said. "There was no activity, nobody coming and going. It looks just like it does now. I was shocked."

She said she'd complained to the city about the yard and they had been mowing it from time to time.

McGrath, meanwhile, said said someone she talked to said they did smell something foul years ago.

"Someone said to me 'I did smell something one day but I thought something had crawled and died under the shed,'" she recalled.

She says that's a sad commentary on the community that someone could be dead for so long without anybody noticing.
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