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Neighbors: Heat could be to blame for death of Fayetteville women

Posted August 27

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— Neighbors say heat may be to blame for the death of two women whose decomposing bodies were found inside a Fayetteville home Thursday afternoon.

Officers responded to a home in the 5500 block of Aberdeen Place just before 2 p.m. to perform a well-being check after neighbors became concerned when they didn't see the people who lived in the home for several days.

Authorities said two dead bodies in a state of decomposition were found inside the home. The bodies will be sent to the Medical Examiner for further evaluation.

One neighbor said a woman in her 70s and her daughter, who had cerebral palsy, lived in the home.

William Johnson, who lives nearby, said he last saw the two women on Aug. 3 when he took them to Walmart. He said their air conditioner had stopped working, and he thought they planned to buy a new one that day.

"They were nice people, real nice people," Johnson said.

But according to Johnson, the women never bought an air conditioner.

"If they couldn't afford one, my landlord would have been more than happy to buy one for them," Johnson said.

After multiple days where high temperatures peaked in the 90s, Johnson and another neighbor when to the women's home. They said they heard a dog growl, and then called police.

The identities of the people found inside the home were being withheld until next of kin were notified. A preliminary autopsy shows no signs of foul play, but police cannot say whether heat played a role in their deaths.

"We talked to them every time they came out. every time they came out we talked to them," Johnson said.

According to health experts, people over the age of 60 carry a greater risk of heat-related injuries. Neighbors are encouraged to routinely check on older residents during the summer months.

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  • Susan Mencer Aug 28, 10:13 a.m.
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    If neighbors knew these people were without air conditioning, why didn't anyone step up to help?