Authorities found a 74-year-old woman living in filthy conditions that left seasoned first responders horrified.
Carol Brown died last week, which was a week after she was rushed to the hospital after suffering "an apparent stroke." Court documents describe the filth and squalor that they found Brown in when authorities rushed to the scene on Oct. 27.
"The victim was described as a rotting corpse that was still breathing," according to court documents.
An Independence Fire Department captain said the woman had to be physically pried from a vinyl reclining chair in the living room, according to court documents.
"The victim's legs were fused to the chair and her legs had to be physically separated from the foot rest portion of the chair leaving behind yellowish skin tissue," according to an affidavit from Independence police detectives. "When she was removed from the chair, there were flying insects around her body."
Bodily fluids and feces were heavily present. Hospital staff said the woman had a maggot infestation on her open sore around her ankle, according to court documents.
Her son who also lived in the home has not been charged. Independence police said they are waiting on final autopsy results before sending the case to the Jackson County Prosecutor.
Brown's son told an investigator for the Division of Senior and Disability Services that he was his mother's caretaker and that she had been in the chair since Oct. 23.
The man told the investigator that he did not help his mother to the bathroom or bathe her "because he was honoring her wish to die in her home." He did say he provided his mother with tomato and chicken noodle soup.
State officials said Brown's son had filed an application to receive aid from Missouri to be his mother's caretaker.
Investigators searched Brown's home for 17 hours and donned protective gear while doing so.
Authorities have declared the home at 321 N. Peck Dr. as unsafe to be lived in. A man who was inside the home last week said he had nothing to say to KCTV5.
Neighbors tell KCTV5 that they are sickened to learn about the conditions in which authorities say Brown was living. Some neighbors thought Brown died shortly after her husband did. Others thought her son lived alone.
"She could have died in her own home clean, in a clean bed, in a clean house with clean chairs," said Yvonne Morris, who didn't even know Brown existed.
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