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Conn. Hoarder Killed After Floor Collapses

Conn. Hoarder Killed After Floor Collapses

A 66-year-old woman was found dead in her basement after the floor collapsed on the first story of her home. One potential reason? Hoarding.

WTNH reports "the weight of the clutter on the first floor made it collapse to the basement. Concerned postal worker figured something was wrong, asked for a welfare check at that house. ... Police showed up, couldn't find the woman."

Reports say police first showed up Thursday and couldn't find anyone. On Friday, officers realized the floor had collapsed, and they cut a hole into the side of the house Saturday to start removing clutter.

News 12 Connecticut reports "officials say they found 66-year-old Beverly Mitchell on Saturday under all the rubble."

WVIT reports crews had to use an excavator to move trash around. Neighbors described Mitchell as a recluse, noting she didn't often leave her cluttered home.

"'She saved newspapers, she saved every piece of paper,' [a neighbor] said. 'I think she just kind of packed herself right in there without realizing that this was what she was doing.'"

The problem of hoarding has of course been highlighted on TV shows like A&E "Hoarders" following the mental and emotional struggles of hoarders.

WebMD says hoarding is difficult to treat, and says, "Two percent to 5% of Americans may meet the criteria for being hoarders."

Police also told WVIT Mitchell's home now "is considered a hazmat situation." An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, and police do not suspect foul play.

Join the discussion

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meryleeweisman June 16 2014 at 9:00 AM

ahh no, hoarders are not slobs or lazy pigs, they have serious mental health problems. Hoarding is often a part of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, which can strike as early as age 40! Hoarders attach to stuff, often because they have no attachments to people, no family no friends. Sometimes they have horrible anxiety and/or terrors, they build a "safe zone" and they feel safe there. There are all kinds of reasons to hoard, each one makes perfect sense to the hoarder. Kindness helps, derision does not help at all, besides it's just plain old mean. Not to mention that it makes you sound foolish.

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7 replies
dbsquirl June 16 2014 at 9:01 AM

hoarding is a mental illness...a woman died...where is the compassion?

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8 replies
Carrie June 16 2014 at 9:45 AM

I watched an episode of hoarding and it was about a woman who was raped in her own home. The police told her that it was unlikely that the rapist would break in her home and do it again but it happened. Twice raped by an unknown intruder in her home. After that, she began to hoard stuff, staring from the entrances, inward.

Most of these people feel lonely or go through severe mental trauma and it is impossible to break it. One thing i noticed in all of them is they no longer trust the world.

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crisvoness June 16 2014 at 9:18 AM

Hoarding is disgusting, but many of you are so ignorant. So some research before you condemn people for being lazy, etc. It's a manifestation of a mental illness. Americans are becoming dumber and dumber.

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2 replies
Angel crisvoness June 16 2014 at 4:45 PM

That's obvious................look at who (what) is operating our government!

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8 replies
brenhatestwinkie crisvoness June 16 2014 at 4:47 PM

so are you by your ignorant comment

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mc June 16 2014 at 9:39 AM

So sad. It is hard to keep up with mail and newspapers. Praying this lady is now free and at peace.

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2 replies
faithrada mc June 16 2014 at 5:18 PM

Sadly.. freedom rarely comes at physical death. THe condition of one's Mind typically follows one into the more subtle realms. Prayers and blessing of course do help. : )

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3 replies
larry mc June 16 2014 at 6:24 PM

Obviously, you did NOT read the article. It was not just a weeks or months worth of mail. Unless she recieved mail in the quantity of Amazon or UPS on a daily basis. She was lazy.

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1 reply
kritteracres larry June 16 2014 at 7:08 PM

larry oh really? You knew this woman? Sheesh what judgemental idiots on this thread!

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leeacart June 16 2014 at 8:38 AM

horder is just a nice name for ,,,your a lazy pig , clean your **** up ...

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16 replies
pllove49 June 16 2014 at 9:47 AM

Sad...then there's people ..that would love to have their home cleaned and prettied up inside and out..and can't afford to or in bad health or old etc...

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2 replies
bbh907 pllove49 June 16 2014 at 2:00 PM

Hoarders won't let anything go,it's not a matter of wanting their home cleaned up.I watched a show about hoarders and the woman featured was having a fit over getting rid of a plastic water bottle that was stuffed down into her couch! Don't know how they get to that point in their lives,but they're doing it to themselves!

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2 replies
pllove49 bbh907 June 16 2014 at 2:22 PM

That's not what I was referring to (someone that hoards).I read a news article a while back and reporter made the statement/desription..working class neighborhood of delapidated homes...just got me to thinkin'....

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kritteracres bbh907 June 16 2014 at 7:09 PM

Oh really bbh? And just how many hoarders have you known personally to judge?

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faithrada pllove49 June 16 2014 at 5:20 PM

Unfortunately a True Hoarder will only re-create the hoard all over again. This is not about a lack of money to get things cleaned up but a mental illness with compells people to surround themselves with STUFF.

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1 reply
brachm5 faithrada June 16 2014 at 8:07 PM

if they didn't have unlimited income, they couldn't continue to hoard!!!

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ItsMEitsMeoLord June 16 2014 at 11:09 AM

I do not agree with publicizing and making a public issue of this.Since it appears that no one cared enough while this women was alive why suddenly pull her into the media to make a story off her lonely isolated life.. She was alone and died alone. One neighbor states we offered to mow her lawn?? One states this is a wealthy neighborhood we all help each other? There is proof she had no help....Go away and let her rest in peace.. Worry about your own issues. Stop criticizing! Shame on the media!!!!

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4 replies
henryusmale June 16 2014 at 9:44 AM

I agree with you it is a serious mental health problem.
Lookingh around at some of my stuff and I have been cleaning it out after that tv show.
I don't like doing it either.

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2 replies
faithrada henryusmale June 16 2014 at 5:31 PM

Actually, there is a relatevely new movement afoot called Minimalism. Some people get more extreme about it than others but it sure beats the opposite situation of hoarding. The concept certainly has its merits... since STUFF can really begin to weigh one down mentally.
Apparently one form of minimalism suggests that no one should possess no more than 100 items.
For me.. clearing out my packed closet by 50% of my clloths qualifies as membership.
Another tactic is... for item one brings IN .. one MUST go OUT... of comparative size.

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2 replies
Priness faithrada June 16 2014 at 6:17 PM

I have heard of this. I should definitely try it. I'm not a hoarder but I am a confirmed pack rat. There is no way in the world I could ever get down to 100 items, but maybe if I tried for 1,000 items (excluding the garage and attic of course!) then maybe I'd feel better about my home and so would my husband. Thanks for the tip!

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Silverfoxylassy faithrada June 16 2014 at 10:47 PM

You start out as a pack rat, and eventually something happens, either a loss or a feeling that the past was better. And then you just can't let go of the things that made your memories, or made you feel good.

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frank.foreman henryusmale June 16 2014 at 10:29 PM

Hoarding is usually something that has grown since childhood. Hoarders tend to be people who have hardly used the garbage as a place to put things. They pile and bury. They are lazy , and only find the energy to put out their foodstuff trash. That's not a mental illness , it's a part of laziness and habitual selfishness. Our governments and businesses do this every day on a much larger scale. Ever seen a business hold stock and pay to hold it? They do. What is that - strategic business practice (it costs them money). Don't dare tell them that though , it's theirs to keep. This is just a case of laziness and selfishness where the roof was leaking. Everything wrong is not a mental health issue - just take a look at Obama / Putin and others. They are all sick & coincidentally lazy and selfish. They must be mentally ill as well. Take them away !

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1 reply
Lani Hill frank.foreman June 17 2014 at 2:28 AM

I know someone who has hoarding tendencies, but who is NOT a lazy person. This person saves every single piece of mail and every single newspaper (from 3 daily subscriptions), thinking there will be a need to refer to the contents someday. This person (elderly) has never absorbed the idea that all the stuff they are saving is available on the internet. The mail and papers get saved neatly in boxes, labeled meticulously by date and contents, and piled chronologically. This has nothing to do with not wanting to take out the trash. I see in this person elements of OCD, mistrust of technology, AND hoarding tendencies -- thinking that it's all worth something.

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Camp Bulldog June 16 2014 at 9:31 AM

when you stack (save) newspapers and mags...you may as well be stacking wood inside your house...the weight is often under estimated...

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2 replies
Neal Berke Camp Bulldog June 16 2014 at 1:17 PM

And at least as combustable.

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frank.foreman Camp Bulldog June 16 2014 at 10:34 PM

When you stack a nation's constitution (in it's long form entirety) , along with all the other trash paperwork that is connected , plus you have a long list of people involved etc. How much does that weigh? Is it dangerous to keep so much paper , even in a steel structured building reinforced by concrete? Not according to those who profit from it. But they aren't sick - just in need of a job. Why buy magazines and newspapers , when it's mostly bullshit anyways. Isn't that a health department issue - lots of bullshit laying around , in the free air?

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