When a concerned woman stopped by an off-campus house to check on a friend she hadn’t seen in a while, the lights were out, the windows were busted and the place had a distinct smell to it, she told Columbus Division of Police dispatchers in a 911 call obtained by The Lantern.
During the call, the woman said she was worried because the man who lived in the home — located at the corner of East 13th Avenue and 4th Street — was old, so she decided to check the place out.
“He is old and I was kind of worried about him and I had stopped by,” the caller told a Columbus Police dispatcher. “I yelled, ‘David! David!’”
She then knew something was wrong when her friend didn’t answer and a rotting smell overcame her, she said.
“So when I go in, I go upstairs and I started smelling something,” she said. “It looked like somebody was laying there, but it looked like they had been in that room for, like, days.”
Columbus Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Weiner said the remains could have been in the home for up to several months.
“There’s extreme decomposition that’s presenting challenges for the investigators,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
The remains are not those of an Ohio State student, he added, and the cause of death is unknown as of Wednesday.
“There’s nothing at this point that leads us to believe that this was a homicide, however, we are treating it as such until we can rule that out for sure,” he said.
Columbus Police public information officers did not return Sunday afternoon phone calls for updates.
When the caller first arrived at the home, she said she saw a man she didn’t know sleeping on the floor.
“He said he had been here. He said the doors were open so he decided he was going to go to sleep. And I’m like, ‘This is my friend’s (house),’” the woman told police.
The man left the house, likely out of the back door, once she got there, she said.