Son lived in NC house with mother’s dead body for more than a year

A woman’s body was found inside a home now condemned, and Wayne County officials say a man had been living in the home with the body.

Wayne County sheriff’s deputies went to 987 McArthur Pond Road near Mount Olive on Feb. 1 to perform a wellness check on a woman reported to live there. The woman hadn’t been seen in months.

When they arrived, deputies met a man living in the home. He told them that the woman was in the home, and that she had been dead for months, said Maj. Richard Lewis.

“It was unclear how long she had been deceased,” Lewis said. “But it had been for some time.”

The woman’s body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Raleigh for an autopsy, where the cause of her death will be determined.

Lewis said the sheriff’s office is “pretty confident” they know who the woman is, but officials are waiting on a positive ID from the medical examiner.

The man living at the home indicated that he was related to the dead woman, but Lewis declined to identify the man or say how they were related, since the woman has not yet been identified.

Bonnie Cooley, who said she is a friend of the family, told several television stations that the man was the dead woman’s son, and that she died in January of last year – meaning he had lived in the home with the body for 13 months.

Cooley also said the body of a dead dog was found in the home.

No charges had been filed in the case as of Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office got a tip that they should check on the woman from a relative of the person who owns the home. The homeowner is not related to either the dead woman or the man living at the home.

The Wayne County building inspector posted a notice on the home Feb. 2 that said the building is condemned.

“This building is unfit and dangerous for human habitation: the use or occupancy of this building for human habitation or any other purpose is prohibited and unlawful,” the notice said, and cited state law.

An investigation is ongoing, Lewis said.

Mount Olive is about 65 miles southeast of Raleigh.