NOW, THAT WAS A REAL 'PACK RAT'!!!!
Missing Woman Found Dead Under Piles Of Clutter
A Las Vegas man found the body of his wife who had been missing for four months buried under tons of rubbish in their home, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday.
The body of Billie Jean James, 67, was discovered by her husband, Bill James, on Wednesday.
She had been missing since April 22.
The Las Vegas Police Department said they had searched the couple's home at least three times with search dogs, but they never picked up the body's scent.
"Dogs did search the entire house," officer Bill Cassell said.
"This house was so full of possessions that movement inside of the house was restricted and in some cases very difficult. Visual searching was impossible."
It was only when Bill James cleared at least 5 tons (4.5 tonnes) of rubbish from one of the tiny rooms in their house that he made the shocking discovery.
He said it was unsure if it was his wife when he spotted a pair of shoes sticking out from under the clutter.
The Clark County coroner's office confirmed Friday that the body was that of Billie Jean James but said it could take weeks before a cause of death was established.
Bill James told KTNV Friday he wanted his wife to be remembered as a friendly, outgoing woman rather than a compulsive hoarder.
"Yes there was clutter in the house and yes we found Billie underneath some stuff. But what people are saying ... It's just trying to inflame things and it's very disrespectful to her," he said.
Police initially focused their search for Billie Jean James on the surrounding desert, fearing she may have been temporarily disoriented from a mini-stroke she suffered five months earlier.
But Cassell said there were multiple searches of the couple's home as well, the Review-Journal reported.
He said "ambient odors in the house" from garbage bags full of rotting food, stacks and piles of clothing as well as animal odors may have restricted airflow to the dogs' noses.
Friends said Billie Jean James was a compulsive hoarder, keen on thrift store trinkets and clothes, and described the back room where she was found as "her rabbit hole."
The couple had built a second home on their property to hold all their belongings.