Sunday, July 12, 2009

ISDP: Couples’ Edition

It’s the thirteenth of the month, once again time to lift the lid on our collection of the cadaverous. It’s not for everyone—those with delicate sensibilities and nervous nostrils should click away, click away, as fast as you can!

We have not one, not two, but three instances where smell led to the discovery of a pair of bodies. On July 2, in San Antonio, Texas, 82-year-old identical twin sisters Florence and Emma Jernigan were found dead in their home when “a neighbor called police after noticing a foul odor.”

Eva Ruth Moravec and Elizabeth Allen of the San Antonio Express-News provide the back story:

Having never worked, the Jernigan women lived off money they inherited when their parents died about 20 years ago. Friends say the women were able to make it because of their frugal lifestyle. Friends also said it appeared the twins, who never married and never moved out of the home where they were raised, didn’t have any close relatives.
The frugal lifestyle included a reluctance to turn on the fan or air conditioner. The twins died during a heat wave when temperatures were consistently above 100 degrees. Neighbors had seen them only a few days before.
. . . firefighters found one of the sisters lying on her side on the couch; the other was on the floor near a rocking chair. A small window air conditioning unit was turned off.
A few days earlier in Treasure Beach, Florida, just south of St. Augustine, an elderly couple were found dead after “neighbors noticed a foul odor coming from their home.”The St. Johns County medical examiner later determined that they had both suffered heart attacks.

The third couple was found dead in a trailer home in Tucscon, Arizona, on July 7.
Their bodies were discovered after a neighbor called to complain about a foul odor coming from the home on Palo Verde Road near Benson Highway.
Police do not suspect foul play. 

Elswhere, an ex-con who had served time for murder was found dead in his apartment in Columbus, Ohio, on June 13. His 4-year-old son was also there but alive
Officers arrived at the apartment Saturday after the complex’s manager was notified of a foul odor.
In Arkedelphia, Arkansas, on June 21, a 38-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment after her neighbor called police.
The neighbor told police that she had not seen Marion for “three or four days” and that she had heard her dog barking inside the apartment. She also noted she smelled a “foul odor” coming from the area of the apartment.
The dog survived.

In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a 28-year-old man was found dead in his apartment on June 22.
Neighbors stated that they had detected a bad smell coming from the apartment on North Stratton. A building maintenance employee subsequently accessed the apartment and discovered the deceased.
High temperature may have played a role in another incident in Hillsdale, Missouri, near St. Louis, on June 25. A 62-year-old woman was found after neighbors
called police when they smelled a foul odor coming from her home.
Police said it was over 100 degrees in the house yet no windows were open and no fans were on. An officer who knew the victim said she “was a nice lady,” who “had not talked to her family members in about 10 years.”

In Kansas City, Missouri on July 6, police found a body in an abandoned van after being alerted by a caller who said it “had been parked there for several days and there was a bad smell.” Police believe the case is a homicide.

On July 2, KOB-TV reporters Cris Ornelas and Charlie Pabst in Albequerque, New Mexico filed a story headlined “Part of body found in Gallup.”
Investigators in Gallup are trying to figure out who sliced a man’s body, cut it in half, and then buried the pieces in two different holes on the edge of town. 

The first discovery came Monday on a wind-swept mesa overlooking Gallup when a group of kids noticed a bad smell. They followed the stench until they found a partially-buried trash bag.

“They first just saw the skin and they thought it was like a pig or something like that so they pulled the entire bag out of the hole at which point they saw it was an entire upper torso of a male individual,” Investigator Owen Pena with the McKinley County Sheriff's Department told Eyewitness News 4 . . .
On Thursday, a couple walking in a nearby area found the lower half of the body. Sheriff’s deputies believe the victim “was a homeless man who lived in Gallup and was last seen three weeks ago.” 

Another suspicious case came to light on June 22 in Moore, Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City. Police found the body of 40-year-old Louellen King in her apartment. They were notified by “a neighbor who hadn’t seen the woman in three to four days,” and who “smelled a foul odor coming from the apartment.”

The apartment was ransacked and there were signs of a struggle. A police officer said they were “looking for the woman’s boyfriend who was the last person seen leaving the apartment, but has not been seen for a few days.”

On July 1, police arrested the boyfriend, 40-year-old Finis Brownie Twohatchet, and charged him with first-degree murder.
According to a court affidavit, King died of blunt force trauma to her head.
Blunt force trauma to the head. A suspect named Twohatchet. Whoa.

And finally, an ISDP case involving a potential love triangle. On July 1, cops in Hialeah, Florida went to house on East 19th Street in response to “reports of a foul odor coming from the house of a man who had been missing for days.”

They confirmed the foul odor, obtained a search warrant, but found nothing inside the house. So they started tearing up the floor.They found the body of the missing man, 33-year-old Jose Ramon Alegre Rodriguez, “tied up and stuffed in a plastic bag and buried in a shallow grave” beneath the house.
police are looking for Rodriguez’s landlord, although police are not calling Nestor Garcia a suspect. Neighbors said they last saw Garcia arguing with Rodriguez over the landlord’s wife. The couple lived across the street from Rodriguez, but have gone missing.

Another report cites the love angle:

Neighbors told WFOR-TV they believed Rodriguez was having an affair with Garcia's common-law wife. She said she knew him “only as a neighbor,” the report said.

As ISDP goes to press, Nestor’s whereabouts remain unknown.

UPDATE July 15, 2009 Nestor Nabbed.

Jose Pagliery at the Miami Herald reports that Nestor Oscar Garcia, the missing landlord, was arrested yesterday in Boca Raton and charged with first degree murder in the death of Ramon Alegre Rodrieguez.

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