A woman continued to live with her mother in Petaluma after her death more than a year ago and has not told anyone, police say.
The Petaluma Police Department said it found the mother’s decomposing body on Tuesday during a wellness check, prompted by neighbors who became concerned because they had not seen the girl in several weeks. Neighbors told police they believed the woman’s mother lived at the residence, but had not seen her in over a year. There were about 20 to 30 packages stacked on the porch of the house and no one answered the door when neighbors knocked, police said.
Neighbors called the police to check on the woman. On Tuesday, when officers arrived, no one answered the door. Officers then entered the house and found the body of a woman on a sofa in the living room, according to Lt. Jeremy Walsh.
The house was cluttered with trash and boxes from floor to ceiling, and there were only small passable paths dug through the debris, police said.
Shortly after entering the house and finding the body, police heard the voice of a woman calling to them from one of the bedrooms, authorities said.
“After a slow and methodical process of clearing the debris, officers were able to safely remove the adult daughter from the room and ultimately transported to an area hospital for medical treatment,” Walsh said.
She was cooperating with police and said her mother died of natural causes in April 2021, police said.
Given the advanced stages of decomposition, authorities said it appeared the elderly woman had been dead for over a year. Her body was removed by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office. Investigators classified the case as an unattended death, meaning the body was not found for some time after the person died.
The house, after being searched by police, was deemed uninhabitable and marked red by code enforcement officers. Authorities said there were no other suspects or safety concerns for the neighborhood.
The names of the two women have not been released.
Los Angeles Times