When an adventurous 12-year-old boy ventured into a vacant house over the weekend, he found something straight from a nightmare: a hanging mummified corpse.
After discovering the corpse in an overgrown and abandoned mint green house in Dayton, Ohio, the boy immediately went to tell his mom the news, according to local reports.
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"When he first came across it, he thought maybe it was a dummy or a mannequin or something," the boy's mother, Michelle McGrath, told CBS affiliate WHIO-TV.
Police responding to the scene used items found in the house to identify the dead man as Edward Brunton, who property records show purchased the home in 2009.
While his death appears to be a suicide, the official cause has not been determined. The coroner told local reporters the body had been hanging there for the last five years.
"It is very unique to find mummified remains like this almost five years old," Dr. Kent Harshbarger said in a news conference. "He was found suspended from the neck still from a belt in the closet, it appears to be a suicide."
Harshbarger said because the body was out of sunlight, in mild temperatures and low humidity, the corpse was able to mummify instead of decompose.
CNN reported that a spokesman for the Montgomery County Coroner's Office said that no missing persons report was filed for Brunton, who had been estranged from family, moved into the house alone and never met his neighbors. Neighbors had no idea anyone living in the house, which had no furniture and was covered in dust, in recent years.
"I didn't realize that there was anybody in that house," Alberta Ballard, a neighbor who had mowed Brunton's overgrown lawn from time to time over the last five years, told WHIO-TV. "There was no activity, no body coming and going, and it looked just like it does now."