Body found in vacant house in SW Detroit

Image 1 of 3

A body was found in a blighted home on Detroit's southwest side and neighbors say it could have been prevented if police and the city had listened to complaints. 

"Nobody walks on that side of the street, they will walk in the street and go around," said Cheyenne Stiltner. "It's disgusting."

And that was before a neighbor's gruesome discovery on Sunday evening. 

"He had smelled something and looked in the window and he called the cops," she said. "When he looked, he just saw the man's feet and he was covered with a blanket."

The abandoned home on Toledo near McKinstry turned into more than just an eyesore, but a crime scene.
"It's upsetting because everyone around here has kids," Stiltner said.

Detroit police removed the decomposing body Sunday night. At first glance, unable to tell if it is a man or a woman - or the person’s cause of death. By Monday the identity had not been released yet.

Stiltner says drug addicts have claimed the vacant home for the past year despite her neighbor boarding up the front door and window.

"In May there was a man sitting on the front porch shooting up heroin," she said. "We saw him every night going in and out."

Residents called the police and the city for help. Stiltner says the squatters started breaking into the home through side windows - leaving garbage and drug paraphernalia behind.
Stiltner says the city did come out three months ago -- telling neighbors the home would be properly boarded up but that never happened.
"Don't just leave it wide open like that," she said. "Because people can go in through the side window now.

"If they don't tear it down, just board it up and clean it up," she said.

A spokesperson with the mayor's office said the city has come out and boarded up several homes in this area, but it has a hard time keeping them that way. People often rip off the boards and break in. 

But despite that the city came out to clean up the property Monday and plan to board it up Tuesday as Detroit police reach out to Stiltner, promising to watch the home more closely.