Ohio boy finds mummified body hanging in vacant house

Boy finds mummified body in Ohio while exploring abandoned home

A boy in Ohio this week stumbled on the scene of a suicide from five years ago when he found the mummified corpse of a homeowner hanging in a closet deep inside a vacant house, coroner's officials said.

Ken Batz, director of the Montgomery County coroner's office in Dayton, told the Los Angeles Times 53-year-old Edward Brunton apparently hanged himself shortly after buying the property in 2009.

The 53-year-old was estranged from his family, and had purchased the home with a small inheritance left after his mother died in 2009, according to Batz. Brunton bought the house for roughly $10,000, and paid a deposit on his utilities shortly before killing himself, Batz said. 

There were no missing persons reports on file with Dayton police. Brunton is survived by his brother, who told coroner's officials he had not seen the man since 2008.

Because of the short time between Brunton's decision to purchase the home and his death, neighbors likely had no clue anyone was living there.

“Quite frankly, nobody was looking for him,” Batz said.

His body mummified -- the corpse's skin and tissue dried out and got leathery -- because of the time of year Brunton killed himself. The cool weather, and the fact that the body was in a place where it could not be disturbed by insects, slowed the decaying process and left the body fairly well-preserved, Batz said.

While the coroner's office often finds bones and other disturbed remains long after a person dies, Batz said finding mummified bodies is extremely rare.

“To find the subject in the exact position where he died, five years later, is a first for us,” he said.

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