A Houston homeowner found dead in a wall in her home apparently fell through the attic floor and became trapped, officials said this week.
While there wasn’t enough physical evidence to definitively state what happened to Mary Cerruti, a forensic official told Fox that it appears Cerruti “accidentally fell from her attic.”
Neighbors reported Cerruti missing in February 2015.
After an investigation didn’t find her, Cerruti’s home was sold at a foreclosure auction.
The new owners discovered the remains in a wall space after noticing a broken floorboard in the attic in March 2017.
An autopsy identified the remains as Cerruti. The skeleton had a pair of glasses and shoes.
The case took almost a year to solve after the discovery of the remains, as officials worked to confirm it was her.
A photo provided by Cerruti’s employer to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences helped officials, as they visually matched the shape of her chin and jaw with that of the skeleton.
Investigators including Sharon Derrick also used video of Cerruti from a Houston Planning Commission meeting back in 2013.
“To an untrained eye, it’s hard to see the jaw movement, but Derrick said it looked to them that she was moving it slowly and with effort, a condition also explained by looking at how the bones fit together,” the Houston Chronicle noted.
“We added all the other information that we had,” Derrick said. “We never just do a best guess.”