Elderly Woman's Mummified Body Found in NoHo Home

Authorities say the mummified body of an elderly woman -- possibly dead for a year -- was found in a trash-filled North Hollywood home where she had been living with her adult son.

Officers were sent to the residence in the 6700 block of Vantage Avenue on Monday evening, said Officer Julianne Sohn of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations office.

The Daily News quoted neighbors as saying that 48-year-old Robert Hunt lived in the home with his mother, Barbara, who is listed as the owner and who would be 86 if alive. Police do believe it is her body. Although it's not clear why Hunt never notified authorities of his mother's death, he is not a criminal suspect in his mother's death, police later said.

The mummified remains of what appears to have been the man's mother were  found in a barricaded back bedroom, the newspaper reported.

"We found the remains of an adult; we were not able to identify who that individual was," LAPD Lt. Alan Hamilton of the North Hollywood Station told the newspaper.

"I can tell you it was in female clothes, old lady clothes," Hamilton said. "We guess that the time of death was at least one year (ago)."

Police said they went to the home after being contacted by a mortgage broker who said the residence would revert to the bank at midnight Monday after going through foreclosure.

Robert Hunt was at the scene when police went to the home and was interviewed but was not arrested. No homicide investigation was started, Hamilton said, but the case was forwarded to elder abuse investigators.
Neighbors described Barbara Hunt as a woman who used a wheelchair and who rarely left her house. Neither she nor her son had taken out their trash in 30 years, despite court orders to do so, the neighbors said.

Besides the trash and debris, dozens of cats also lived in the house.

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