A man and woman found dead at 3802 Meadowlark Drive were facing eviction from their rental home in Holly Hills when their bodies were found, the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office said Tuesday.
The dead were identified as Mattie L. Bonner, 68, and a relative, Kenneth Brown, 48, said Muscogee County Deputy Coroner Charles Newton. Bonner was pronounced dead of natural causes in a bedroom at 1:05 p.m. and the man at 1:30 p.m.
Brown was found seated behind the wheel of a car in the garage with a water hose running from the tailpipe into a window of the vehicle. His death was ruled an apparent suicide. Newton said no autopsy will be conducted in connection with the deaths.
Both had been dead a week to 10 days.
With overgrown grass and more than two months behind on the rent, the man and woman were facing eviction Tuesday from the house.
Capt. Curtis Lockette of the Field Services Unit said deputies were there to execute the eviction. A locksmith opened the door and deputies entered the house to clear the residence to make sure it is clear for the landlord to remove possessions out of it.
Deputies found the man and woman inside house, Lockette said. Once they were found, the Columbus Police Department was called to the scene.
“We give possession of the property back to the owner,” he said. “We never know what we are going into. “
Lockette said the department has had two instances in the past where people have taken their own lives while deputies were at the door. “We are catching people at their worst,” he said. “They can’t pay the rent.”
Muscogee County Marshal Greg Countryman said his office handles 5,800 to 6,000 evictions each year. “We treat them as if somebody is in the house,” he said.
Police sealed off the rental home after the man and woman were found dead on Meadowlark Drive. Detectives were talking to neighbors and checking the house to piece together what occurred at the house.