A Houston woman, whose skeletal remains were found in the wall of her bungalow last year, is believed to have fallen through her attic floor before becoming wedged in the walls, authorities said Tuesday.
WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW
The Harris County Coroner’s Office identified the remains as Mary Stewart Cerruti, 61, who was discovered by the new owners of the Houston bungalow. Cerruti was reported missing in 2015 after neighbors contacted police because they hadn’t seen her for days.
“In the attic, there was a broken board that led down to the space. Law enforcement thinks she may have been up in the attic and fell through the attic floor,” Tricia Bentley, the medical examiner spokeswoman, told PEOPLE Magazine.
Authorities collected the bones last year. Most of her skeleton was in place, the medical examiner said. Clothes and a pair of red eyeglasses were also discovered.
Six dead cats were also found inside the attic, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Neighbors had described Cerruti as shy and frail. She joined them in opposition against a luxury apartment complex planned for the land around her house. The project was still approved.
One neighbor was still in shock as to how Cerruti could have fallen through the floor board.
“The gap in the boards appears to be maybe eight inches, and Mary was certainly very frail, but it's hard for me to believe that a person could step on a board, and their entire body would go down a crack that is two inches wider than a dollar bill,” Roxanne Davis told KHOU-TV.
A bank foreclosed on her home in 2015 after the mortgage payments stopped. Liens on the property were settled, the house was cleaned out was eventually placed on the market and sold.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.