A blind woman may have lived with the dead body of her son unknowingly for 20 years in her Brooklyn home. The woman, Rita Wolfensohn who is said to be a hoarder, had not seen or heard from her son for roughly 20 years, WPXI reports.
The elderly woman’s sister-in-law made the discovery when she was packing a bag to take her to the hospital. The man’s body was found in a bedroom wearing jeans, a shirt, and socks. She told investigators that the room smelled of rotten food, perhaps, but not of human decay. The room was said to be packed with garbage.
Rita and other family members said they have not seen or heard from Louis for roughly 20 years, but they did not have a great relationship with him.
Rita’s husband passed away in 1987. They had two sons, Michael and Louis. Michael died when he was 38 years old in 2003. If Louis were alive today, he would have been 49.
According to the New York Post, a law enforcement source compared it to the 1960 horror film, Psycho, in which Norman Bates keeps his mother’s remains in the basement.
“It’s like some reverse ‘Psycho’ scene.”
The police questioned Rita about her son and where she thought he had been all this time. She responded as if he had just moved out.
It is believed that Rita’s son died of natural causes. One relative said that he would not comment about the discovery until after the funeral.
The widow’s two-story brick house, once worth nearly $700,000, is now considered not repairable. The room where Louis was found had garbage piled up inside as if “a garbage truck had dumped its load.”
As of last week, the house appeared to be empty. Nobody was answering phone calls and the mail appeared to be piling up.
Back in July, a similar incident occurred when an elderly woman from Detroit was at city hall seeking help to pay a bill, MLive reports. An employee thought she appeared unhealthy and contacted authorities.
When the police arrived at the woman’s home, they said it was uninhabitable. Garbage filled the hoarder’s home and the police immediately ordered she be taken to a local hospital for treatment and a psychiatric evaluation.
Before police entered the home, they chose to wear hazmat suits as a precaution. While cleaning the home, the hazmat team came across a dead body surrounded by trash and feces. Although the body was not dead for years and years, it was believed that the victim, Donald Smith, had been dead since December, just over half a year ago.
Becky Mills, a neighbor, said she saw them bring the body out of the home.
“I saw the body come out. It looked like it was in there for some time.”
Becky, who just moved to a house directly across from the elderly woman’s, said that she was unaware that anyone else had lived in the house. In fact, Becky said that her husband even took the elderly woman to the store a few times.
“She smelled terrible. I just thought it was because of all the cats over there. I wouldn’t have known the inside was that bad.”
The elderly woman told police that she was under the assumption that he was just in the back room relaxing.
Another neighbor told police that the elderly woman and Smith were nice people, but kept to themselves.
Trees that were blocking the home were cut down and the windows of the home were boarded up. They put caution tape in front of the home that had three American flags on it.
Mills told the police that what everyone wants to know is, did she know that Smith was dead?
“You wouldn’t think she was crazy, she was just old. It’s a little bit morbid, but I guess we’re all asking did she know that he was in there dead, or did she really think he was in there relaxing? When you think about it that way, it’s gross if she knew, and if not, it just makes her a little bit crazy. Literally, I think she thought he was just in there hanging out and not just deceased in there.”
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