WITTMANN, AZ - The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says it found what appeared to be a hoarding situation after the body of a man was found inside a Wittmann home on Tuesday.
MCSO said the body was found around 8 a.m. when a caller said he’d not seen his neighbor for a week, and when he went to check found the front door open.
Deputies found the man dead inside the home and said it appeared he’d been there for several days.
MCSO identified the victim as 78-year-old Jerry Brown and said his pets had partially consumed his body.
The victim's family told ABC15 they hadn't seen the victim in eight months. They said he'd lived on the property for 20 years.
Brown's family lives in Casa Grande.
They said they had no idea Brown had been hoarding cats.
"It’s little overwhelming because not just of the house but the circumstances in general – to walks through that doors and see the place he passed away – where he died,” said daughter-in-law Cheryll Brown.
Brown says they don't know what to do with all the animals and the home.
Brown told ABC-15 they don't have the money to clean up the property.
"I am just taking it day by day, " said Brown.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says it will work with the Humane Society to help take care of the animals.
The family also told ABC15 the man has a son in the hospital with Hodgkin's disease.
Air15 video showed the double wide trailer home surrounded by sheds and what appeared to be a lot of abandoned items.
Several cats could be seen running around the property and people wearing face masks were also walking around the property.