Many fans tune in to shows like “Hoarders” to have a few chuckles over the pile and stacks of things that people refuse to throw away. But hoarding can be very dangerous. Connecticut police found Beverly Mitchell, 66, dead Saturday. Her floor collapsed under the weight of all of the rubble accumulated over the years.
According to Cheshire Patrol Sergeant Kevin O’Donnell, they found Mitchell buried under a collection that included mail, packages, magazines, bottles, etc. He said it was “piled to the ceiling in most rooms. There was a waist-high layer of clutter in the room she had been living in.”
Police were alerted Thursday by the mail carrier that Mitchell’s mail was piling up. They went to the house, but after getting no response, concluded that Mitchell simply wasn’t home at the time. They returned to check again on Friday and that is when they realized that the floor had actually collapsed.
The authorities got workers to use a backhoe to remove debris from the house. But it wasn’t until Saturday that they finally found Mitchell’s buried body. From what police can ascertain so far, the weight of all of the debris had caused the floor to collapse towards the basement and when Mitchell went down, all of the rubbish came raining down upon her.
O’Donnell said that police had tried to get Mitchell to seek help over the years, but she rejected referrals to different social services organizations. He said that she just seemed to be “a very private and solitary lady.”
The police have not found any evidence of foul play or suspicious activities surrounding Mitchell’s death. They believe that Mitchell had been dead about a week before her body was found. As of yet, they have not been able to locate any of Mitchell’s family members.
Hoarding is classified as an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). If you or a loved one seems to have a problem with hoarding, the International OCD Foundation has a list of counselors and providers on their website to offer assistance.