Officers wear protective gear during search of home where woman's decomposing body is found

No criminal activity suspected at this time

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Investigators in hazmat suits combed through a home on the 1500 block of South Benton Street in Lakewood Thursday after finding a decomposing body inside.

"The body had apparently been there for a lengthy period of time," said Lakewood Police Department Spokesman Steve Davis.

Davis told 7NEWS that officers responded to the location after neighbors told them they hadn't seen the homeowner for quite a while and that her house looked abandoned.

"There were papers piling up, mail piling up and that gave us enough reason to go to the residence and force entry," Davis said.

Davis acknowledged that neighbors asked police to check the house two weeks ago.

Back then, the grass wasn't as tall and the pile of papers and mail wasn't as big.

"There just wasn't enough reason for us to force entry into the house," he said. "Today, we felt a little bit differently."

Davis said police were treating the house as a crime scene, but said they have no reason to believe that the woman's death involved foul play. 

"That's my friend's mother," said neighborhood resident Kathryn Toresdahl. "We used to see them walking to get food. They always walked, never drove."

Toresdahl says her friend told her that her mom was getting sick.

"All of a sudden she was feeding her and she wouldn't leave the house," Toresdahl said. "Then, suddenly, she moved in with me and never went back."

Toresdahl says the daughter moved in with her about three months ago. She says when she asked the daughter when she was going to go see her mom, she never got a response.

She says she can't help but wonder if her friend's mom has been dead for two or three months.

Toresdahl says police went to her house late Thursday afternoon and took the daughter in for questioning.

Police say they want to find out what the daughter knows about her mom's last days.

Anyone who may have information that will assist detectives in the investigation is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 303-987-7111.

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