The 13th Floor

Houston Homeowner Discovers Woman’s Remains Trapped in a Wall

There have been countless horror stories from new-home buyers — some of which include shocking revelations about the property’s previous owners which the seller either failed to reveal, or simply didn’t know about. We’re assuming this is a case of the latter.

According to KHOU News, police were called to the scene after the tenant of a house in Houston Heights reported finding skeletal remains trapped within a wall — which he reportedly discovered after noticing a broken floorboard in the attic last March.

After a preliminary autopsy, forensic experts identified the body — which was found with eyeglasses and shoes, and had been likely picked clean by rats — as the home’s previous owner, 62-year-old Mary Cerruti, who had been reported missing by her neighbors in February 2015. That case remained unsolved for over two years, yielding no significant leads to investigators. Eventually the bank foreclosed on the house and held the property up for auction.

The buyer at that auction (whose name was not disclosed) apparently still owns the house, though it’s not been revealed whether the tenant vacated the premises after his grisly discovery — or if the house is still open for rent as of this writing.

Tricia Bentley, spokesperson for Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, told the press there is still insufficient evidence to confirm the cause of Cerruti’s death – though clues suggest she had become trapped in the wall after accidentally falling from the attic.

Cerruti, whose neighbors say lived alone with several cats, called her home her “little castle,” and reportedly complained about the recent construction of apartment buildings close to the house.

“For her, it was an invasion of her space, her privacy,” neighbor Roxanne Davis told KHOU. The report also noted that Cerruti often referred to the apartment builders as “the bad guys.”