Woman found dead in hoarding conditions at rat-infested Peoria home

Sep 29, 2021, 4:00 PM

(Peoria Police Department Photo)...

(Peoria Police Department Photo)

(Peoria Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX — The body of a woman was recovered from a home in Peoria last week that was overrun by rats in an apparent hoarding situation, authorities said Tuesday.

Officers with the Peoria Police Department responded to a welfare check at the residence in the 8700 block of Athens Street at 8 a.m. on Thursday after neighbors reported a bad odor and sights of rodents coming from the home, Sgt. Brandon Sheffert told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The home was unable to be entered initially because of its condition, so police utilized a drone to search the house.

The drone located severe hoarding issues and the decomposed body of a 66-year-old woman, Sheffert said.

Members of Peoria Police’s Special Assignment Unit entered the home in hazmat suits and eventually located and removed the body.

“When they went in, they had to make their way through piles of debris, trash, boxes and all sorts of things to get to this deceased individual,” Sheffert said.

An investigation into the woman’s death continues, but Sheffert said police don’t believe it has suspicious circumstances.

Sheffert added that Peoria Fire and Medical teams had been called to the home several times in the past for the woman, whose identity hasn’t been released.

Peoria Police Animal Control and the Peoria Neighborhood and Human Services are conducting the clean up of the house.

“The conditions were unimaginable for probably all of us,” Sheffert said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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Woman found dead in hoarding conditions at rat-infested Peoria home