A mentally ill woman lived for more than a year with the decomposed corpse of her mother. When the remains of Susie Rosenthal were found this week her body had been reduced to bones. The 61-year-old woman’s deceased body had been eaten up by rats, roaches and mice which also occupied the trash ridden apartment.
Susie and her 28-year-old daughter, Chava, lived in the Brooklyn apartment together and were very reclusive. They very rarely left their small apartment and only had one visitor, who never entered the residence. Janis Gellis, Susie’s sister, would come to the building to bring food everyday but she never went inside. The food was left at the door and the daughter would take it in.
The gruesome discovery was made on Monday evening after a leak from the woman’s apartment began dripping through the floor into the lobby. The building’s superintendent went up to the apartment and found the door cracked. He could not open the door fully because the massive amount of trash prevented him. He looked inside and saw Chava sitting in the kitchen he called out to her, but she did not answer nor did she move.
The supervisor called building management after he received no response from the person he saw inside the apartment. In turn, management called police for assistance. It took the authorities almost two hours to coax the young woman out of the apartment. She was acting erratically and threatening to hurt herself so police had her transported to Maimonides Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation.
When Janis arrived, as was her custom, to drop off food she asked who was taken to the hospital. She was shocked at the news and informed police that one more woman should be inside the apartment. Authorities had to dig through at least three feet of garbage before they finally discovered the missing woman they were searching for.
When they found Susie’s skeletal remains it was obvious the roaches and rats had found her first. There was nothing left but bones; her remains had been eaten up. The woman’s body had been decomposed for more than a year behind the closed door of apartment number B5 of the 15th Avenue residence. Her mentally ill daughter, Chava, had lived in the grimy apartment with her mother’s corpse and never said a word.
Many of the building’s residents had never seen either of the women. They told police they had never even seen the woman’s door opened. Mayor Berger, a spokesman for a Jewish burial society for the poor named Chesed Shel Emes, said every now and again Chava could be heard screaming from across the courtyard; he never knew what she was actually saying.
Berger along with other neighbors said a very foul order had emanated from the apartment for a very long time. He does not understand how someone could live with that odor for months and months.
The decomposed corpse was taken to the city coroner’s office to try to determine how and when Susie died. According to a source, no indication of foul play is present at this point. The Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy.
Chava, a mentally ill Brooklyn woman, lived in an apartment with her mother’s decomposed corpse for more than a year. When the remains of Susie Rosenthal were found her body had been reduced to bones. It had been eaten up by rats, roaches and mice. Reportedly, both mother and daughter have a history of psychological issues.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)