OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (WDAF) – Six years: that’s how long Overland Park Police say a dead body was at a home southwest of Kansas City. Relatives said the body of Mike Carroll wasn’t there alone. As many as four other people may have been living with that body since 2016.
Overland Park Police found Carroll’s body on a bed when they visited the home in October 2022. He was 81 years old at the time of his death.
The Social Security Administration is now in charge of the criminal investigation into what happened, a spokesperson for the Overland Park Police Department told Nexstar’s WDAF.
Other family members, blindsided by the news, told WDAF they are shocked the lies lasted this long. Family said investigators told them that they were able to look at the pacemaker and determine Carroll’s heart stopped on July 1, 2016.
WDAF connected with Carroll’s nieces who live out of town. They said Mike was living with his daughter all this time, or at least they thought he was living with her.
“Just so confused about the whole thing. You know, how can this happen? And how can he lay there for that many years and nobody reported,” said Janet Carroll, a niece of Mike Carroll.
The home on West 99th Terrace has fallen into disrepair, with gutters falling off the roof.
Neighbors still remember Carroll.
“Yeah, I know him,” said Ro Nguyen, who lived next to the home. “And after that, a couple months, I didn’t see him. I said, ‘Maybe he passed away or went somewhere?’ I don’t know.”
Janet, who lives in Iowa, told WDAF the coroner ruled her uncle’s cause of death was natural, but the family questions whether neglect was also a factor.
When Carroll’s nieces would ask about him, Janet said those living with him would offer excuses, saying he was sick or they were out of town.
“It was a different story every time. You know, he didn’t feel good. He was sleeping. He was eating,” said Mike’s niece Stefani Blubaugh, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
When WDAF’s crews visited the home, which now appears to be in disarray, nobody answered the door but a dog barked at them.
It isn’t yet clear how or why others lived in the home with Carroll’s body for so long.
“You know they had to smell it. You know everybody in that house had to know what was going on,” Blubaugh said. “You know how a body decomposes and liquifies and that crazy stuff. I mean, it’s just, again, horrific.”
Nguyen told WDAF he never noticed a smell and that if he had, he would have called the police.
Some of the family members who connected with WDAF said their hope is that Carroll’s remains will be buried with his wife in Leavenworth.
But so far there has been no movement in coordinating that plan as family members are not really talking to each other as a part of the fallout from this revelation. It’s also unclear how far along the criminal investigation is – no charges have been filed as of Wednesday.