How to cope with a next-door hoarder -

How to cope with a next-door hoarder

There's a dirty secret inside an east Memphis apartment complex. Residents there recently exposed the shocking sight inside a unit there.

Odell Dumas, 83, opened the unlocked door to the apartment next to his - an apartment filled with trash.  What's even more shocking, neighbors said, is that until recently, someone lived there.

"I haven't seen this guy for about three months," one neighbor said.

The contents of the apartment exhibit the classic signs of a hoarder. There are mountains of collected items that most people would have thrown out, including a trail of empty frozen entrée containers and boxes of tissues stacked orderly from ceiling to floor.

The museum of trash has produced so many roaches that someone posted a warning about the unit at the complex's mail center.

"They're just in every room," Dumas said. "In the bedroom they get all over my clothes. "You know you've got to watch when you go out make sure you don't got a roach on ya.I went to church and had a roach on me the other day.

The back door of the apartment is jammed shut by trash.

"You can look in the window," Dumas said. "Look in here, it will shock you."

In the kitchen is a collection of empty dishwashing soap containers. Meanwhile, the bathroom floor is a sea of trash, and the toilet and sink are in deplorable shape.

The manager of the complex, who did not want to be interviewed on camera, has been unable to track down the dirty dweller. Legally, he said, management can't go inside because the has been paid on time every month.  

"If he's keeping up the rent, it don't matter, he's causing a whole lot of nuisances here," Dumas said.

Apartment management reported the mess to the Shelby County Health Department, and inspectors posted a notice asking the renter to clean up and get in touch with them.

Neighbors and maintenance workers hope that solves the problem.  In the meantime, Odell Dumas has no choice but to close the door on the apartment next door, and return to his home where he has lived for 41 years. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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