I saw this article on fellow appraiser, Hank Miller's blog and just had to re-post it. Can you believe this guy was missing for four years and nobody ever noticed? This is so unbelievable.
You never know what you might find in foreclosures. I’ve found dead animals, “hoarder” style homes, those filled with animal and human feces and of course, rat and roach infested homes. I’ve walked in on drugged out junkies, even thought one or two might be dead…but I’ve not found a dead body thus far. A Milwaukee agent did…she found forty-one-year-old David Carter’s “nearly skeletonized body” on the second floor of his home. A Smith & Wesson 9-mm. handgun was found lying on his chest; an autopsy later determined a gunshot to the head as the cause of his death.
How does a dead man’s body go unnoticed for four years? And we’re not talking about a murder victim whose remains were hidden or obscured, or even some poor homeless soul whose existence was already pretty much anonymous. This was a 41-year-old man who committed suicide in his own home. From the article:
The best estimate is that his suicide happened in late 2007. That’s when he quit his job. That’s when he wrote his last check. That’s when he talked of moving away. And that’s when he disappeared, not quite in plain sight but right there in his longtime home. His body was not discovered until January. I don’t mean 2008 or 2009 or 2010 or 2011. He was found last month. This year.
For four years, he never paid a bill or emptied his mailbox or pushed a lawn mower or snow shovel. Notices and warning letters were sent his way, but no one ever entered the house to see if he was there and doing all right. Finally, on Jan. 23, Carter’s 45th birthday, a real estate worker from the Milwaukee County treasurer’s office walked up to the door. A locksmith came along. The house near S. 58th and Madison streets had just been awarded to the county in December in a tax foreclosure. It’s a visit no one would welcome. But it solved the mystery of Carter’s whereabouts. The workers found his “nearly skeletonized body,” in the words of the medical examiner’s investigative report. “Spider webs were noted all around the residence,” it said. “A Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun was found lying on the decedent’s chest.”
The unpaid property taxes, fees and costs have grown to more than $30,000. The shoveling and mowing since 2007 total more than $3,700. Milwaukee County sent many notices to collect payment during the past four years but was in no hurry to take the property. The tax foreclosure was filed last July and granted by a judge on Dec. 21. According to the county treasurer’s office, the house will be cleaned and repaired and put up for sale. Because the property was considered abandoned, whatever money that’s left over from the sale will go to the county, though that could be contested in court by a relative or the mother of Carter’s child.
The full article is here