Sunday, April 13, 2014

ISDP: The Ones That Were Missed

Wow, that was close. We were deep into a scientific meeting in Florida and nearly missed a timely posting of this month’s edition of FN’s wildly popular I Smell Dead People feature.

The first few items on the docket are reminders that malodor, like life itself, can be fleeting. Despite the passing stench, some decaying corpses are simply not noticed. Case in point: one Pia Farrenkopf who would have been 49 years old this year. She apparently died in 2008 but her remains were discovered only last month.
A contractor found the body in question in a garage last Wednesday after the $54,000 in Pia Farrenkopf’s bank account dried up and her house in Pontiac, outside Detroit, went into foreclosure, according to local media.
And in Germany,
police broke down the door of an apartment in Oberursel am Main at the request of the building’s management. It had been called to management’s attention that a resident’s mailbox was overflowing with uncollected letters.

Upon entering the apartment, police discovered the partially decomposed corpse of a 66-year-old-woman sitting on the couch in front of a television that was still on. The woman was dressed in pajamas and nearby police found a TV guide open to listings for last September.

Police determined she had been dead for over six months.
And in Anchorage, Alaska, one lady noticed what a married couple apparently missed for months.
The former Christine McAlpine came to clean the rental house she once shared with her husband to get it ready to show to another family.

Only, she detected a foul odor, according to Anchorage Police cited in published reports.
The odor led her to a storage space under the stairs where she found the body of her ex-husband, Samuel E. McAlpine, 37, who had been missing since March 17, 2013. Having failed to sell the house after the divorce, they rented it out. Another couple, who had been renting there since April 1, 2013, had recently moved out without noticing, or at least without reporting, any bad odors.

That makes the unnamed rental couple eligible for the 2014 Norman Bates Award™.

There was a close call in Tucson, Arizona, last month. An initial report of a suspicious odor lead to no action, but olfactory persistence saved the day.
Last Sunday a Pima Animal Care officer was called to Fletcher’s home, the 3500 block of East Guthrie Mountain Place near the junction of East Skyline and Sunrise drives, in reference to possible abandoned animals and an odor coming from the home, a search warrant stated.

The animal control officer called Pima County sheriff’s deputies, but “at that time, there were no odors emitting from the house and deputies did not notice, or did not note anything suspicious,” according to a search warrant.

Pima Animal Care called the sheriff’s department again two days later, on Tuesday, and that time deputies “noticed a strong odor of decomposition emitting from the house and flies on one of the windows,” the search warrant stated.
On entering the house sheriffs found the body of a woman who had died of multiple gunshot wounds. The house belongs to a salvage-yard owner and the woman may have been his live-in girlfriend. The suspect, 56-year-old Myron Fletcher, had recently admitted himself to a mental health center. He has since been booked into Pima County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Remember, folks: Always trust your nose©.

[Hat tip to ISDP fan David B.]

For ISDP events of the immediately detectable kind, we turn to Edinburg, Texas where the body of 33-year old man was discovered.
Garza’s body was found in the later stages of decomposition after a person in the area investigated a foul odor emanating from an abandoned gas station at the intersection of East University Drive and North 21st Avenue.
Foul play is not suspected.

And finally, from the Orlando Sentinel: “Body found in home near Florida Mall after report of foul odor.”
Deputies are on scene at a home on Morning Drive near Florida Mall in southern Orange County after a decomposing body was found inside.

The man’s body was found after a witness reported a foul odor coming from the home just before noon on Wednesday, deputies said.
The dead person was evidently murdered:
The Orange County Sheriff's Office on Thursday identified the man as 60-year-old Harry Lieble, pictured below, and ruled his death a homicide.
Police are searching for a 40-year old man who has been named as a person of interest.

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