A woman was arrested in Paragould, Arkansas, for hiding a decomposing body in her home on N. Fourth Street.
Fox 8 reports that the woman hid the body in the back bedroom of her house for about a year, since the man’s death. Her roomate, Allen Trobaugh, was the one who discovered the body. He told police that Gloria Tensley always kept the door to that room closed and forbade him to enter under any circumstances.
“She had gone down to the Witt House to get some more food and I was sitting here alone. I guess curiosity got the best of me and I went back to the room and I tried to open the door, which had always been closed as long as I’ve been here. I had to force it open.”
Trobaugh said the smell was overwhelming.
“When I did get in there a blast of air hit me in the face and you could smell a stink in there real bad. Then I looked down and saw him laying there…I just immediately looked down and said oh no that can’t be real.”
Arkansas man finds human remains in elderly roomate’s closet: PARAGOULD, Ark. — An Arkansas man was stunned after… https://t.co/p6Kvzp1XQv
— Winston Salem Now (@winstonsalemnow) July 21, 2016
Trobaugh lived with Tensley for about three months.
“I have been mowing the yard, working on the hot water heater, you name it I have done it. I also helped her with the bills.”
Trobaugh could not believe that Tensley hid a body in her home.
“I immediately was like ‘oh my God Gloria what have you done.'”
According to News Channel 10, discovering a decomposing body so close to his sleeping quarters upset Trobaugh.
“I was like sleeping three feet away from him,” Trobaugh said. “He was sitting three feet away from me rotting. [The body] was partially covered with lye, and [his head] was covered with a sheet.
— AR Democrat-Gazette (@ArkansasOnline) July 21, 2016
Trobaugh wasted no time taking his discovery of the body to police. Paragould officers arrived on the scene and verified the roommate’s story. Detective Jack Hailey commented on the gruesome setting.
“We made entry to check and did discover the remains of a body. It was in a state of decomposition but I don’t want to mislead people to think it was just a skeleton laying there. We suspect it had been there a while.”
Sgt. Detective Rhonda Thomas revealed few details regarding the case.
“While [we] believe [we] know who the deceased man is, [we] are withholding any additional information on his name or personal details until his identity can be officially established by the state medical examiner in Little Rock… we can’t just go in and look at remains that are in such a case of decomposition and say this is who it is or this is who it isn’t. We have to have that confirmed through the medical examiner.”
Officials did release the reason Tensley kept the decomposing body in her home. It seems she collected government benefits intended for the deceased man. In her statement to police, she told them she did not want to remove or report the body because it would disrupt the checks. She was later released on a $75,000 bond.
Though they cannot release a positive ID on the body, Hailey said they believed they knew who it was not.
“For now, pending official identification, we do not believe it was a husband. We believe it was someone who had been with this lady for about 20 years.”
Dick Pace, the coroner for Green County, Arkansas, said he was unsure when to expect the completed autopsy reports.
Trobaugh packed up his possessions and left Tensley’s home following the discovery of the man’s body. He said he has no plans to return to the house, and that he would rather sleep outside than to set foot inside Tensley’s home again.
[Photo by fergregory/Thinkstock Photos]