⋅Overwhelming Tragedy⋅


Police car lights.
Even experienced officers and investigators don’t often see a scene this horrifying.

Investigators implored family members to hire professionals to clean up this home after crime scene investigators and homicide detectives finished their 8-hour investigation of the grizzly death scene and the coroner had removed the disfigured, decomposing body. Police rarely make recommendations like this. They customarily release the scene and allow family members to make their own decisions about cleaning it up. But this was no average death scene, and the only known relatives were the victim’s elderly mother and aunt.

This was the home of a 45-year-old man who experienced a tragic downward spiral after his wife left him for a man with whom she had allegedly been having an affair and then took the couple’s two children and left the state with her lover. According to police reports, the victim had exhausted his savings over the last few months as he desperately tried to locate his children. One neighbor with whom he had been very friendly reported to police that about a month ago, the victim had lost his job as a computer programmer because of the emotional and financial stress of losing his children. The neighbor reported that the victim had become increasingly reclusive since his job loss and had rarely left his home.

When the victim’s mother could not reach her son by phone for several days, she contacted police, who went to the victim’s residence and found a scene right out of a horror movie.

The Grizzly Death Scene

The heat in the home was on because a week before, when the victim died, it was chilly outside. But three days later, the weather became unusually warm. The interior of the home had reached a balmy 92 degrees by the time investigators entered. Immediately, the stench of death overwhelmed and sickened them. The living room was filthy. Everything was covered in a sticky dust. The coffee table and floor were littered with sticky, partially emptied soft-drink bottles and rotting food in take-out boxes and the whole area was infested with flies. But it wasn’t the rotting food and sticky-sweet soft drinks that drew the flies.

Removal of bloodied bedding from grizzly death scene.
All the bedding and the mattress from the grizzly death scene had to be safely removed and disposed of.

In the master bedroom, a bloated and blackened body lay on its back diagonally across the bed, which was soaked in a huge puddle of blood, now the consistency of jelly. The abdominal cavity of the body had ruptured because of the buildup of internal gasses, and the man’s internal organs had oozed out onto the bed and floor. This is what drew the flies, who had lain their eggs in this victim’s open belly and which had now grown into visible maggots crawling all over the body, the jellied blood, and the extruded mound of organs on the floor. The victim’s mouth and nostrils had oozed a thick bloody liquid that was now partially dry. Small spots of dried vomit led from the bed to the master bathroom, where investigators found copious amounts of dried vomit on the floor and in the toilet. What had caused this man’s death was not immediately clear because the body was in such an advanced stage of decomposition. A handgun was found at the scene on the floor next to the bed and was sent to the crime lab. The death was therefore initially considered suspicious and treated as a possible homicide. What was immediately clear was the length of time the victim had been dead. Police estimated at least 5 days had passed since death.

The coroner would later state in the autopsy report that the time of death had occurred 4 to 6 days prior to discovery.

The official cause of death, according to the coroner’s report, was a gunshot wound to the chest. But earlier, the victim had consumed a lethal dose of Xanax, which caused the victim to vomit. After crime-lab tests found only the victim’s finger prints on the gun, the death was ruled a suicide.

The body was removed to the crime lab for autopsy, but not the sickening gore. The stench of death permeates an environment and doesn’t go away when the body is removed, and neither does the rest of the gore. All the coroner removes is the body. This scene was still crawling with maggots that escaped the body and which now carried pathogens into all parts of this home; the blood, body fluids, vomit, and extruded organs still remained.

What happens to a dead body over a 5-day period in 92-degree heat, and what is left behind after the body is removed, is incomprehensible to most people.

The scene is what professional crime-scene cleaners call an “Unattended Death.” It is one of the most difficult scenes to cope with emotionally and one of the most difficult scenes to clean because of the serious bio hazards present.

It is NEVER a scene loved ones should have to enter.

We are very thankful that this victim’s neighbor and loyal friend called us out of concern for this man’s family. As a retired EMT, the neighbor was afraid that the victim’s mother might, as many people do, assume the police would clean up any mess associated with the death and that she would unwittingly walk into a house of horrors.

Advanced Bio Treatment worked with this elderly mother so that she never had to see her son’s grizzly death scene and so that when she entered his home to retrieve precious personal items, there would be absolutely no reminders of what had happened. Most importantly, we used specialized equipment and chemicals to remove the serious bio hazards present and permanently deodorized the environment. Had she attempted to do this job herself, she undoubtedly would have exposed herself to the toxic pathogens replete in this environment and become seriously ill.

ABT worked with her financially and emotionally and even helped her find a funeral director.

If the unthinkable happens to you or someone you know, please don’t wait. Make the call to Advanced Bio Treatment and depend on our crime and death-scene professional cleaners to do a job, which no loved one should ever have to do, and we do it thoroughly, professionally, and compassionately.


Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment