NEW MILFORD, N.J. – Two months after being reported missing, a New Milford woman was found dead in her trash-strewn apartment, her mummified body hidden beneath clothing and debris that had apparently concealed her presence during earlier searches, authorities said.
Alice Klee, 68, was found on her bedroom floor Friday by her landlord, who was there to open a window after getting court permission to clean out the apartment, said Police Chief Frank Papapietro.
"It was by chance that he caught her hair sticking out under the debris," Papapietro said Monday.
The medical examiner's office determined the woman died of natural causes, the chief said.
Family members, New Milford police and other agencies including animal control had searched Klee's apartment multiple times during the past two months, he said.
Papapietro, who had also visited the apartment the first time police went there, said so much debris was piled up, officers could not make their way fully inside.
"Clothes, garbage, trash, cat feces, cat urine, it was just horrendous," Papapietro said.
Klee lived alone in the cramped apartment with her cats. Animal control had to set up traps to find some of the cats among the debris, the chief said. One was found dead.