The story of story of Beverly Mitchell, a compulsive hoarder, who dies after being crushed under a pile of debris, is making headlines in the UK.
The headline in the Daily Mail read, "Hoarder ‘crushed to death’ when first floor of her home collapses into the basement under the weight of the clutter she collected
"Authorities found 66-year-old Beverly Mitchell was found dead in her Cheshire home Saturday
"Mitchell had been a recluse for years and refused help from social services
Authorities forced to cut into house through side wall"
A video report about the hoarding incident is on the left.
The story also made the top ten of the Daily Beast's news roundup on Monday.
"It sounds like the nightmare outcome of a TLC reality-TV show," the Daily Beast reported.
Mitchell died in her home in Cheshire, Connecticut after the first floor collapsed under the weight of the material she hoarded, the New York Daily News first reported Sunday.
Mitchell was well know to police who had often been called to her home to check on her well-being after friends, neighbors and relatives became concerned for her well-being, SF Gate reports.
'We’ve tried all along to get her assistance, but she was a very private and solitary lady,' Police Sgt. Kevin O’Donnell told the Daily News.
Police say her body was found at the bottom of a pile of clutter she had collected for years. Police were first called out to the home by a USPS letter carrier who noticed Mitchell’s mail had been piling up for at least a week.
Sgt. O’Donnell said officers went to Mitchell’s house Thursday, but didn’t find anyone and had assumed she wasn’t home.
Because of the overwhelming clutter in the home, police did not notice that part of the home had collapsed. Emergency crews had to cut a whole in the side of the home to get to Mitchell. They finally found the hoarder’s body Saturday morning crushed under debris.
Police said they tried to get help for Mitchell but she refused.
“It’s unfortunate because ... we’ve tried all along to get her assistance, but she was a very private and solitary lady,” Sgt O’Donnell said.
News.com.au reports, “All the items that she had collected for many years covered her as the floor sank down into the basement, " O'Donnell said.
“It’s just junk. She just never threw anything away — she was a hoarder. Mail, packages, bottles lots of papers, newspapers, magazines, you name it. Piled to the ceiling in most rooms.
“There was a waist-high layer in the room she had been living in.
“This was an accidental death caused by disrepair.”
Police were trying to locate relatives. It is unknown what, if anything, they did to help Mitchell with her hoarding compulsion which ultimately caused her death.
The issue of hoarding is a serous one that plagues thousands of people to various degrees. Experts say hoarders like Beverly Mitchell can learn to change their ways through intensive counseling. Unfortunately, Mitchell paid with her life. But many others are able to change and lead a clutter-free life.
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