KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) - A King County sheriff's deputy responding to a complaint about rats at a Kirkland-area home discovered what is believed to be the homeowner's body, being eaten by rats.
On Monday, the deputy found a decomposed body, believed to be that of 67-year-old Thomas Harold Stone, on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. She wrote that body was being eaten by rats in her presence and one ran between her feet while she was there.
Deputies believe the man died of natural causes. The King County medical examiner is investigating. A spokesman said Wednesday the office was still working on locating relatives and getting a positive identification.
Neighboors had repeatedly complained that rats were a problem at Stone's home and the Health Department had ordered him to clean up his rat-infested property. He was reclusive and told the neighbors rats were his friends.
A neighbour recently complained again to King County Councilwoman Jane Hague who called Sheriff Sue Rahr who sent the deputy to the home.
The deputy wrote that she could smell feces from the curb and the house was covered in waste, filth and rats.