A Dallas hoarder, who was missing since March 15, was found dead in his home Thursday behind a “10-foot wall of trash.”
It took rescuers two days to retrieve the body of the 67-year-old man after he was discovered by emergency workers.
Clutter reached the ceiling in some areas. Officials cut a hole in his roof to gain access to the house. The bathroom was so filled with debris that it was inaccessible. Milk jugs full of urine were discovered.
They found the corpses of two dogs and a raccoon in the squalor, which distracted cadaver dogs searching for the man.
"We just could not get around or find anything," said Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Joel Lavender.
A Chihuahua was found alive amongst the trash.
Family friend Leo Gregg has taken the dog, named buddy, into his care.
"Gave him a bath, cleaned him up," Gregg said. "I knew that dog meant everything to him."
It is still unclear whether foul play is suspected in the man’s death.
His neighbors were apparently shocked by the state of the home.
“They’ve been pulling out jugs and jugs of urine and feces and just the things that he collected is amazing,” said neighbor Jessica Zacek. “Everyone knew there was a hoarding situation. No one knew the extent.”
"It honestly looks as though if you didn't throw away anything — anything at all for, say, 20 years," his neighbor Mary Pat Rodriguez told Dallas station WFAA-TV. "That's what your house would look like inside."
“It’s a sad loss. I know it’s a bad way to go, but he was a good guy. He was a good guy. He had a heart of gold,” said April Tepera.