'Smell of death' drove woman from her home

Northside resident had to move out after neighbor died

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Northside woman said the smell coming from a house where her next-door neighbor died has run her out of her own home.

The home is on Northpoint Circle North, a few blocks north of Busch Drive, west of Interstate 95. The woman didn't want to be identified, but said she's been staying with a friend since June 11, when her neighbor's body was found. She hasn't received word on when her neighbor's home will be cleaned up.

"Nobody wants to smell the smell of death, and it is still coming out of that place," she said. "I feel so bad for him and I feel bad for his family, but I feel bad for myself now."

The home is overgrown and falling apart. Last week, the city removed her neighbor's two dogs that died of neglect.

"It was just unbearable: the odor, the flies, and I was getting ill from it, so I had to move out," she said. "I don't know if I should go to a psychologist or a medical doctor, because it's taxing. It's frustrating, you know?"

She says no one knows what to do about the problem.

"I've talked to the mortgage company. I've talked to property management. I've called City Hall. I've talked to my City Council person. "I've talked to their legal department. Only thing I knew to call is Channel 4 -- someone who maybe could get some resolution to what is going on."

News4Jax was able to get in touch with the property preservation company that the neighbor's mortgage company uses. It's records showed someone else lived in the home. When told that wasn't true, it changed the status of the home to vacant, which means a contractor can be sent in to clean and inspect the house.

While that could takes several days, it was good news for the woman who complained. She might be able to return to her home soon.

About the Author: