Gary Richard Buys was found dead in his home on Oct. 16 in Tyrone Township, Michigan, by Livingston County deputies who believe that the 69-year-old man had been deceased for about a year.
“We believe he died from natural causes,” Sheriff Bob Bezotte told USA TODAY. “It still remains open until an autopsy is completed.”
Bezotte said that “quite a few liquor bottles” were found in Buys' home, but it's not clear if booze played a part in the senior's death.
Bezotte and Undersheriff Michael Murphy do not suspect any crime took place, and added that Buys' parents had passed away and that he (Buys) was not married.
"It's sad no one was checking on him or paying attention to him," Bezotte added. "His [utility] services were still on, so he must have paid through automatic payment plan."
Buys' neighbors noticed that the lawn was overgrown, but some thought he was residing in his cottage in northern Michigan.
Other neighbors complained to Tyrone Township officials about the yard; sometimes a neighbor would simply mow it.
One neighbor was asked by TCTimes.com if anyone ever knocked on Buys' door, and replied, "Sure.”
A neighbor near Buys' cottage in northern Michigan had not seen Buys for some time and could not reach him by phone after a tree crashed down on the cottage. Neighbors near the cottage wanted the tree, not the grass, taken care of.
All the concern about plant life finally paid off when the neighbor near the cottage asked the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department to check on Buys, which led to the grisly discovery of his decayed body.