Police have discovered the remains of a Texas woman who went missing in 2015, inside the walls of her Texas home. According to investigators, it is believed that 61-year-old Mary Cerruti may have fallen through a loose floorboard in her attic, landing in between the walls. The remains were discovered by the new tenants of Cerruti’s home, and included the clothes she was wearing when she went missing.
Disappeared. Neighbors grew concerned that heir elusive elder neighbor’s mail kept piling up outside her home. When police went to do a welfare check, they discovered that 61-year-old Mary Cerruti had mysteriously disappeared.
Fall. According to People, investigators believe that Cerruti may have fallen through a loose floorboard in her attic, leading her to fall through a the walls of her home. Because Cerruti had no close family, the fact that she had gone missing didn’t become known for some time.
Space. “In the attic, there was a broken board that led down to the space. Law enforcement thinks she may have been up in the attic and fell through the attic floor. It is a one story home with an attic so she was found on the first floor. There was some space between the walls where a person could fit,” said Tricia Bentley medical examiner, as reported by People.
Remains. The remains were discovered last year by the current tenants of the home after it had gone into foreclosure. Amongst the remains there were articles of disintegrated clothing, pieces of bone, and even a pair of eyeglasses, believed to belong to Cerruti.
Cause of death. Unfortunately because of the condition of her remains, investigators have been unable to determine her cause of death. “The cause of death is listed as undetermined because the remains were skeletonized. There is no evidence to say how exactly she died,” continued Bentley.
Identified. Medical examiners were able to identify Cerruti’s body through a tooth which had a new crown on it and that Cerruti had restored not long before her death. Along with her body, police also found six dead cats, believed to be strays that Cerruti would take in.
Gap. “The gap in the boards appears to be maybe eight inches, and Mary was certainly very frail, but it’s hard for me to believe that a person could step on a board, and their entire body would go down a crack that is two inches wider than a dollar bill,” said Cerruti’s neighbor Roxanne Davis, as reported by KHOU.
Community. Those who knew her knew that Cerruti fought for her neighborhood and opposed new developments that were being planned in her community. In fact, she called developers “the bad guys” and would often attend town hall meetings to oppose these plans.
Invasion. “She definitely did not like the apartments being built around her. For her, it was an invasion of her space, her privacy. It’s sad that she came to an ending like that,” said Davis, as reported by KHOU.
Check. A welfare check was conducted shortly after Cerruti went missing, and while in the home, police discovered the attic door was still open. It’s unclear why that wasn’t a clue or how that didn’t lead investigators into checking all areas of the attic.
Vulnerable. “There were a couple hundred pairs of eyes on her house at all times, and anybody could look down and see that she was alone, she was elderly, she was frail and she was vulnerable, flat-out vulnerable,” Davis told KHOU.
No foul play. Despite the bizarre circumstances of her death, investigators don’t believe that foul play is involved. Instead, they are calling Cerruti’s death a tragic accident. Investigators may never know how exactly Cerruti died thanks to the condition of her body.
Stretch. “It would be a stretch in this case because at the end of the day no one bought the house. If this really was that kind of idea of let’s get rid of her, you would think that someone would have bought the property and tried to demolish it. Instead someone bought it and tried to rent it,” said Detective Jason Fay, as reported by KHOU.
Fishy Davis however, maintains that something smells fishy about the case, and that the case shouldn’t be closed. She believes detectives should continue investigating as she insists she still has many questions that have gone unanswered.
More investigating. ”They need to do some more investigation. They have some explaining to do,” Davis told KHU. Detectives say they are open to the idea of reopening the case if anyone were to come forward with evidence that foul play was involved.