Cheshire woman dies after clutter collapses on her

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH)–The death of 66-year old Beverly Mitchell of Cheshire is being blamed on hoarding, according to police. Authorities said on Monday that there was so much junk inside her home that the floor collapsed.

Mitchell lived alone in a run-down house with no running water.

Photo Gallery: Hoarders

The fire department had to use a backhoe to get inside Mitchell’s home, where the Connecticut Search and Rescue Team utilized special equipment to locate the woman’s body. Police were tipped off by a postal carrier, who said the mail had been building up in her mailbox for days.

Police said it was difficult to get to Mitchell because of all the clutter in her home.

“We initially went in and did a quick search, couldn’t find her, and realized that we were going to have to remove some of the contents and the clutter before we could actually do a thorough search,” said fire chief Jack Casner.

“[We found] the victim located in the area of the kitchen beneath some of the clutter,” Casner said. “There were papers, garbage bags, any household items that you would normally discard were found several feet high.”

Neighbor Roger Kennedy said he hadn’t seen Mitchell in two weeks.

Asked whether or not anyone was looking after Mitchell, Kennedy said:

“No, no. I called the town about it, and they said they’d send somebody up to look into it, and they did, but they said that she refused help and they couldn’t do anything.”

Kennedy said Mitchell was quiet and kept to herself.

“Ever since her mother died and her dog died, she just isolated herself in the house and only came out on the weekends to put her garbage out and get her mail,” he said.

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