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#1
Old 07-23-2011, 05:13 PM
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Location: Simi Valley, CA
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How long does it take for a body to start stinking up the neighborhood?

I just noticed that my neighbor hasnít picked up her mail in about three days. My roommate reports seeing her about three days ago working in her yard, but hasnít seen her since. Sheís in her early 80s and has a ton of medical problems. Since her car is gone Iím assuming that she just went to visit her son for a few days, but you never know. Itís been fairly warm here in SoCal for the past few daysóhow long does it take for the odor to permeate through the walls to the point where you can clearly smell it outside the house? Iím not going to call the cops just yetóIím going to ask around first and see if anybody else has spotted her or knows where she is.
#2
Old 07-23-2011, 05:19 PM
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Damn, man. Go knock on her door and see if she's okay.
#3
Old 07-23-2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
Damn, man. Go knock on her door and see if she's okay.
..

Last edited by Ambivalid; 07-23-2011 at 05:24 PM.
#4
Old 07-23-2011, 05:23 PM
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Um...good plan. BRB. Not sure what I was thinking here.
#5
Old 07-23-2011, 05:37 PM
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No answer, and the neighbors on the other side arenít home. But Iíll be home for the rest of the day, so Iíll keep an eye on the situation. Like I said, itís probably nothing.
#6
Old 07-24-2011, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
Damn, man. Go knock on her door and see if she's okay.
But he's worried she might be dead. Can't answer the door dead, so the problem remains.
#7
Old 07-24-2011, 02:50 AM
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Rightóthatís why I want to know long it takes to get really ripe. If it only takes a day or two, then I can rule that possibility out. But dead people donít drive cars, so thereís that. Like I said (twice now), Iíll bet itís nothing.
#8
Old 07-24-2011, 03:31 AM
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You can call the police and ask them to do a welfare check.
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#9
Old 07-24-2011, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washoe View Post
Itís been fairly warm here in SoCal for the past few daysóhow long does it take for the odor to permeate through the walls to the point where you can clearly smell it outside the house?
If the house is well insulated, and the windows are all closed, you will never smell it from a detached building. Maybe if you walked within a few inches of some gap in the insulation or window seals you might notice something, but even then probably not.

The fact is that rotting flesh smells a lot less than people think, and intact corpses have very little odour at all. In natural situations I have frequently walked within a few metres of decaying animal carcasses before noticing the smell, and these are large animals like like cattle and deer. Where animal carcasses start to really get whiffy is if they are opened by predators and the guts spread across a large area. But if the carcasse remains largely intact, the odour is suprisingly muted. Outdoors you can smell them from a ~20 metres of the wind in in the right direction, but that is precisely because of the wind. In a sealed house, very little odour will be emitted at all.

To give some examples, when I was an undergrad I used to do commercial cleans. One of the jobs consisted of cleaning a rental property where the tenant had done a midnight flit. From the outside the property was perfectly normal. Upon opening the front door just a crack we all nearly vomited. Not a human corpse, thankfully, rather an upright freezer full of various meats that had liquefied and the weight of the liquid had forced the door open. An unbearably foul smell filled the entire house, but it was utterly undetectable even on the doorstep. And once the house had been aired for a few minutes it was undetectable even when standing right against an open window. The smell had permeated all the fabric and carpeting in the house, but was quite undetectable from the outside.

We renegotiated our wages for that job.

In regards to missing old women:


"An elderly Australian woman apparently vanished from view eight years ago, no one bothered to call the police. Not her relatives, her neighbors, or government officials, who kept paying her welfare benefits into a bank account that sat untouched.

New South Wales state police said Wednesday that they discovered the woman's skeletal remains on the floor of her Sydney home on Tuesday, after her sister-in-law finally called them to report that she had not heard from the woman ó who would have turned 87 next month ó since 2003."

These sorts of stories crop up all the time. * years is remarkable, but 6 months without a corpse being discovered is routine, and after 6 months there is very little odour from a corpse.

So no, you aren't going to notice any odour from a dead body in another building. I second the advice of calling the police and letting them know.
#10
Old 07-24-2011, 09:49 AM
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if you are friendly and trusted with an elderly or sick neighbor it might be good to get the number of a relative or two so you can call when ever you are concerned and also that they can call you.

offer to get mail for them when they are gone. have them let you know when they are gone so you might keep a closer eye on their property as well as not making a needless call to police for a welfare check when you don't see them around.
#11
Old 07-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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Dead people don't drive cars but murderers can.
#12
Old 07-24-2011, 04:04 PM
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I talked to the neighbor on the other side. We both came to the conclusion that she went to spend the weekend with her sister. He agreed that if the car were there then we should be all over it. However, he did say that every time sheís gone away before sheís always asked him take in the mail for her, which raises an eyebrow. However, another thing which suggests that sheís not in the house is the fact the AC isnít running. She runs hers 24/7, so if she became suddenly incapacitated while in the house, the AC would still be going. But it hasnít been on at all the entire weekend.
#13
Old 07-24-2011, 04:41 PM
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Make sure that when she does show up, that you mention that you were worried about her, and remind her to let her neighbors know, because you care. *




*Old people eat that kind of stuff up. Short cut to the will, my man.
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