A man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin got a surprise recently while touring a fixer-upper with a real estate agent and a friend: a trash cart full of live kittens. Ah! Later, the group also found a dead body.
In a story that is becoming too familiar, Milwaukee resident Phil Gustafson spotted the body in the foreclosed home while checking out a first-floor closet. The Kansas City Star reports he quickly ran from the room, shouting to his friend Keith Frank Jr., "There's a dude in there!"
Real estate agent Jack Alves reportedly approached the body, announcing who he was, but got no response. The men called 911 and, when paramedics and police officers arrived, found that the man they uncovered in the closet was dead. Alves told the Star:
"He was facing the inside of the closet, laying on his side, his back to the door. I could not see his face. He was covered with a blanket or a coat partially."
The man was identified by his fingerprints as John Ernest Abbott, and his address was reportedly listed on the morgue report as "Homeless in Milwaukee." According to the Star, there was no evidence he had been in the house long and it is not clear when he was last known to be alive. From the Star:
He pleaded guilty to breaking into a house in Franklin a year ago this week. He was looking for a place to sleep and seemed incensed that he was prosecuted. "It's not murder, it's homelessness," he told one psychologist.
The house in which he was found dead is one of more than 1,000 foreclosed homes owned by the city of Milwaukee.
Keith Frank Jr. said, "Needless to say, we're not very interested in that property anymore."