Cause of death for remains found in Heights home to be undetermined

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine moving into a home and finding skeletal remains in the attic. It was a very real and shocking discovery for one family in the Heights.

Many people on Allston Street are trying to move on after a body was found in the wall of the house. Homeowners are are trying to move forward as well, but bad news came from the medical examiner Thursday. The mystery continues.

Are the remains of those from a missing woman who lived there two years ago?

When renters found the body in March, they called authorities and they moved out a short time later.

The skeleton was in a crawl space, between the boards on the attic floor and the sheet rock on the ceiling.

All that was found was "just bones," said HPD homicide detective Jason Fay. "There was some tattered cloth but not sure it was just scraps drug in by wild animals."

Neighbors Eyewitness News talked to said they were hoping the medical examiner's report would bring closure, but that report showed the cause of death is undetermined. The condition of the skeletal remains made it impossible to find out how the person was killed.

Neighbors hoped to learn if the body was that of Mary Cerutti who lived in the home and disappeared.

"It was a little concerning. We drive by there everyday," Austin Darden said. "Generally try not to think about those types of things."

Cerruti's ex-husband, David Cerutti, said they divorced 25 years ago, he was notified when she was reported missing, but hasn't received any news since then.

Cerruti was an only child with a few close family members.

According to a neighbor, Cerruti kept to herself and surrounded herself with several cats. The neighbor said police went inside Cerruti's house and found all of her cats dead, but never found her. The house sat empty until the new tenants moved in and found these remains.

Michael Nassif bought the house after Cerruti disappeared in 2015.

Nassif put it up for sale for $400,039 later in March, but he was having troubling selling it. It is now listed at $475,000,

ABC13 reached out to the owner but did not hear back.

The next step is a DNA test. We're told that a sample was sent to a lab to see if the identity of the body can finally be revealed.

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