Man may have been living with corpse for months in northwest Harris County home, deputies say

Sunday, March 12, 2023
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Investigators believe a man may have been living with a corpse for months before taking his own life as deputies entered his home Saturday evening.

Alton Bell, the neighbor next door, said he was the one who made the initial phone call to the Harris County Sheriff's Office for a welfare check.

"Yesterday, I was mowing the grass and going beside the house. I was going into the backyard, and I noticed a bunch of flies that were above the normal size," Bell said.

Deputies also saw the flies and smelled a foul odor when they responded around 8:00 p.m. near Kilwinning and Lerwick in northwest Harris County. The discovery prompted them to enter the home.

"As they made entry into the home, they heard one gunshot. They cleared the home and found a male body in a bedroom from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Deputy Thomas Gilliland said.

The man was said to be in his 60s. They also found another man in his 60s in a separate room, who they said had been dead for several months, and his body was "severely decomposing."

"We're pretty shocked. It's really horrifying. I mean, this guy was 20 feet from my house lying in a room," Bell said.

Linda Meadows, who lives across the street, said her daughter heard the gunshot, prompting their family to come outside to see what happened.

"If you ever smelled a rat in your wall, it's awful. As soon as they opened the door, you could smell it as soon as the wind blew it across the street. We knew something was really wrong," Meadows said.

Neighbors said the two men were fairly private and mostly kept to themselves. Right now, the relationship between those two men is unclear. But HCSO said it appears they were living together in that house.

Harris County Forensic Science will work on determining the cause of death of the decomposed body. The identification of both men has not been released.

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