Unattended Deaths

Some of the hardest calls to get are when a person has passed away in their home or other location and have gone unnoticed for a period of time. Not only can it make for a highly technical decontamination and restoration process suitable for professionals like those at Advanced Bio Treatment ONLY, but it always leaves me wondering about the person and what transpired in their lives that they ended up alone in the end.

A case I worked about a year ago still remains fresh in my mind… It was in sunny Miami, Florida where we got the call for an unattended death, as we call them in this industry. I knew little more than that as we made our way to the home, passing long strands of Palm trees and freshly mowed lawns… the occasional yard we passed was still in the process of being cut as the homeowners took advantage of the cooler morning hours.

It became clear that this was a retirement community when we pulled into the driveway at the address listed for the call… word spreads fast in neighborhoods like that, and a small crowd of residents(and two tiny, well groomed toy poodles) had gathered around the mailbox.

Once inside, the odor of a decomposing body assaulted my senses right away. Anyone who has ever smelled death knows, it can feel as if you’ve been hit in the face; your boss stings, your eyes water and your stomach rolls. I was led down a dark hallway to where Jane Doe was face down in her bedroom, part way between her bed and her bathroom. She had been deceased for sometime and it was evident, even with the air conditioning still running(thank god for small miracles), by the state of decomposition and the large number of insects. Jobs like this require the utmost care by seasoned experts.

To ensure proper decontamination of the scene, an experienced scene clean up service should be employed. Human feces, urine, and blood cleanup pose a significant risk to human health. Advanced Bio-Treatment is well trained in EPA and OSHA regulations for biohazard cleaning.

I wondered where this woman’s, who looked to be in her early eighties, family was that they hadn’t noticed her absence. As we began the cleanup, I found some prescription bottles jumbled together in a drawer next to the bed along with a picture of a young man I assumed was her son. Another picture, black and white with yellowing around the edges from age, of a couple on their wedding day, hung on the wall. Later I would learn that Jane D.’s husband had passed away two years earlier from a stroke, and that her only child, a son, had perished in a car accident two decades before that. Cases like this can really make you reexamine your own relationships.

Even though we at ABT are not counselors, we have been trained to handle sensitive situations Like Unattended Death

We always handle them with the utmost respect and consideration for the family. No family should ever put themselves through the trauma or hazards of trying to clean a scene on their own, while trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. At the time we were unsure of the cause of death, only that there had been some blood loss as was apparent on the mattress and floor between the bathroom and bed. We soon discovered, however, that what had happened was a case of mistaken identity…. she had been taking the wrong medications in combination without realizing it.

In her weakened state(we learned that she had been ill for sometime with pneumonia), it was a fatal error as it began to cause massive internal bleeding in her lungs and she ended up suffocating in her own blood while trying to make it back into her bed. This case was so sad… but then I try to remind myself that she’s with her husband and son now. And, as we were walking out the front door that day, I heard the neighbor who had eventually found Jane D. say, ‘ She will be missed, but at least she’s alone no longer’…

If you need scene cleanup and decontamination guidance, have questions about your payment options, which clean up and decon procedures your current insurance policy covers or require our scene cleanup services immediately, don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call at:800-295-1684.

ABT Offers Up To $500 For Referrals: If you are aware of someone in need of our services, you can contact us on their behalf. If we are able to provide scene cleanup services we will reward the referrer with up to $500 on completion of the job. This incentive is available to everyone from family members to church members to neighbors. Call: 800-295-1684.

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