A Texas man’s home was stuffed with so much garbage it took five days to find his body, police say.
Police went to the home of 67-year-old Skip Bynum after he missed church, but there was so much debris in the home they couldn’t find him, reports The Dallas Morning News.
Search dogs were initially unable to locate Bynum, potentially because of the competing odors from the bodies of two dogs and a raccoon. A Chihuahua was found alive.
Searchers cut holes in the roof to gain access to rooms blocked by 12-foot high mounds of refuse that contained milk jugs full of urine.
A search dog found the body days after a cleanup crew was hired by the city to clear the home.
Neighbors, now worried about an invasion by an “army of rats,” never complained about the home’s condition. In 2012, city officials visited three times to tell Bynum to mow his grass and he did.
A former friend described Bynum as a “a jovial little guy” who liked model trains and had trouble parting with stuff.
The mother of a woman who lived across the street said, “It’s just a very sad thing to think this was going on. The outside of the house looks manageably kept.”
She said no one wanted to meddle in his life or get him in trouble.
“It’s pretty hard in this country,” Ann Thrasher said, “to know when you should intercede and when you’re being nosy or interfering with people’s lives.”
Why do people hoard possessions until they can no longer use their home?
Research suggests only about 18 percent of hoarders have an obsessive compulsive disorder. Brain scans indicate hoarders place too much value on their possessions and face anxiety whenever trying to make decisions on what to toss or keep.
A health article on Time.com says “it’s not that hoarders are slobs or obsessive collectors. Rather, it’s that they have problems making the kinds of decisions about their stuff that others would consider reasonable.”
More news from the interwebs: