An elderly Detroit hoarder found dead in her home was reportedly partially eaten by rats and her pet dog before her body was discovered by her cousin.
Linda Kajma was worried when she hadn’t heard from her cousin, Sally Honeycheck, so she decided to check up on her. What she discovered was a house of filth and squalor — and her cousin’s partially eaten body.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Kajma made the discovery Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 after Honeycheck didn’t pick up her phone. Kajma called the police the following Monday, and they went to the house to investigate. No one answered the door and Honeycheck’s pet Rottweiler was not barking.
Kajma sensed something was wrong, and when she asked police if they could break in, they told her that break-in wasn’t in order. A call to area hospitals revealed that Honeycheck’s sister, Lorraine, had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke but Sally was nowhere to be found.
In the following days, police made more several more check-up visits, but Detroit police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said police could not break in because it was against protocol.
“We just can’t break into a person’s house,” Kirkwood said, adding that police can only enter under “exigent circumstances,” the Detroit Free Press reported
On November 29, Kajma called the police and told them that she was going to break into the house, and on December 1, she and a friend were shocked to find what they saw in the home.
The home reportedly had trash one foot thick on the floors. The place was infested with rats and fungi was reportedly growing on the walls. The kitchen was filled with all kinds of trash including empty sardine cans and take-out bags.
But the biggest surprise of all was the fact that she passed by Honeycheck’s swollen torso in a blue lawn chair and never realized what was there. She reportedly saw a skull, what appeared to be a wig and leg bones protruding from a pair of pants in the chair, but it did not occur to her that she was looking at her cousin until an officer who arrived at the scene moments before told her.
“‘Linda, she’s right here … the dog has been eating on her.'”
Kajma almost passed out when she realized what he said.
For years, Sally Honeycheck, 80, lived in squalor. No one knew until her cousin found her body. https://t.co/l6VLQldvpU
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 2, 2019
The Detroit Free Press reported that Honeycheck died sometime between November 12 and December 1. The Wayne County medical examiner reported that Honeycheck died of natural causes and also found “extensive postmortem animal consumption of body.”
Honeycheck’s Rottweiler was also found dead in the house.
When cleaning up the house, Kajma discovered $10 and $20 bills stashed in cupbards, beds and even in the floor along with rat feces.
Kajma was angry at first, but has come to terms with the reality of what happened, per the Detroit Free Press.
Now, almost year later, the house is all cleaned up and Kajma has even received an offer on it.