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Milwaukee Home Buyer Finds Dead Body In Closet During House Showing

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident Phil Gustafson had been looking around a house that he was potentially going to buy when he suddenly stumbled upon a dead body in a closet during the showing.

Gustafson and his friend Keith Frank, Jr. had been searching for a home to purchase and renovate, and were viewing a foreclosure sale with real estate agent Jack Alves when they found the body in a closet on the first floor of the house.

“There’s a dude in there!” Gustafson exclaimed, according to the Kansas City Star. Alves approached the closet and discovered that the man was not moving, then called 911. Police and medics arrived soon after and found that the man was deceased.

“He was facing the inside of the closet, laying on his side, his back to the door. I could not see his face. He was covered with a blanket or a coat partially,” Alves said.

The body was later identified to be John Ernest Abbott, a 53-year-old homeless man who had seemingly entered the home for shelter. While it is not known how long Abbott had been in the house prior to his death, police say that he had a history of break-ins. One trespassing incident even landed him in court.

Abbott, who had been suffering from schizophrenia for more than three decades, reportedly had a little more than two dollars in his pocket when his body was found. He had been living on a Social Security check and had spent part of the year in jail and at a mental hospital.

According to a competency report, Abbott “spent his time panhandling, socializing with persons met on the street, smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. He identified that he enjoyed the freedom associated with street life.”

An exact cause of death for John Ernest Abbott has yet to be determined. Alves says that he will continue to show houses to Gustafson and Frank, but they no longer are interested in the fixer-upper where they discovered Abbott's body. The house was reportedly selling for $15,000.

Source: Kansas City Star / Photo Credit:


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