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A 66-year-old woman was found dead in Cheshire, Connecticut on Saturday in her basement. Her first floor had apparently collapsed due to the weight of her massive collection of stuff.
The Cheshire Citizen reports that the woman was discovered by police after a postal worker called on Friday, concerned that mail had been piling up for a week. Although authorities did arrive that day, they did not discover her body until Saturday.
Firefighters had to wear special equipment to search the house and had help from several state agencies, including the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. State police dogs were also used in the search.
According to NBC Connecticut, the woman was identified as Beverly Mitchell, who lived alone. Neighbors described her as a “hoarder to the extreme” and said she rarely left the house. Mary Stopkoski told the station that she kept everything, noting, “I think she just kind of packed herself right in there without realizing that this was what she was doing.”
Stopkoski said that she had not seen Mitchell in a month, while other neighbors said they weren’t even sure anyone still lived there.
The cause of death is still unknown, but no foul play is suspected. An autopsy will be performed by the state medical examiner.
As the investigation continues, it is considered a hazmat situation. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called in to help Cheshire properly cleanup the home, which is expected to be demolished.