Body of woman missing 7 years found in home

March 26, 2009 6:44:45 PM PDT
There was a disturbing discovery made in Oakland. A woman thought to be missing for seven years was found dead in her own home. Everyone is asking how she could be there for so long and never found.SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

The remnants of a life were sitting in boxes piled up in front of an Oakland home. It was a life that appears to have ended unnoticed by the world, family, friends, or neighbors.

"She was a real nice lady," said a neighbor.

As late as Thursday online Eunice Workman of Oakland remained a missing person, as she has for the past seven years.

After the city notified Ms. Workman's family it was going to take over the abandoned property, relatives and a private contractor began cleaning out the house. On Wednesday, Workman's daughter went upstairs and began to clean the place out.

Police say they were called about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday when the body was found in a second-story bedroom. Apparently newspapers and other items were stacked from floor to ceiling, and the remains were found amongst the clutter.

Audwin Chambers spoke for the family.

"I can't tell you the details. It's too graphic, but she did discover her mom," said Chambers.

As described by the coroner's office, little remained except a skeleton -- bones, still wearing clothes. The family claims to be as surprised by this as everyone else.

"I just heard she might have been between the bed and the closet. Like it blows my mind how she could be packed up under some things. Or a corpse could be laid up for seven years," said Chambers.

That's the question everyone is asking, including the Oakland police. Neighbors had noticed the quiet disrepair of this place, some even described how there were rodents and a stench.

"It was just a really foul odor," said a neighbor.

The city of Oakland did receive several complaints and issued notices. Martin Flores, a building inspector, told ABC7 about coming by one time, and seeing people living inside.

"It was questionable whether they were authorized to be there or not," said Flores.
"And they were living there with a body?" asked ABC7's Wayne Freedman.
"Yes," said Flores.
"With a body?" asked Freedman.
"I didn't verify that," said Flores.

Alameda County scheduled to sell the house last week for back taxes, but did not verify a sale. That is just one more unknown about the end of Eunice Workman, who would have been 77 years old when she disappeared seven years ago.

"The one thing we are thankful for is we did have some type of closure," said Chambers.

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