Daughters of Dead Dover Woman Surrender to Police - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Laura Mazzeo

Daughters of Dead Dover Woman Surrender to Police

Both sisters are charged with abusing a corpse and third-degree conspiracy. Both sisters are charged with abusing a corpse and third-degree conspiracy.
Photo of Mary Haas, whose body was found Monday stuffed inside a plastic box inside the upstairs bedroom of her Jefferson Court home in Dover. Photo of Mary Haas, whose body was found Monday stuffed inside a plastic box inside the upstairs bedroom of her Jefferson Court home in Dover.
The Jefferson Court townhouse in which the body of Mary Haas was found has since been condemned by the city of Dover. (Photo: WBOC) The Jefferson Court townhouse in which the body of Mary Haas was found has since been condemned by the city of Dover. (Photo: WBOC)

07/10/2006 11:49 PM ET; Updated 07/12/2006 9:13 PM ET

DOVER- Two sisters turned themselves in Tuesday after police charged them with abusing their 84-year-old mother's corpse. The body was found Monday stuffed in a box inside her Dover home that was condemned after being overrun with 110 cats and three dogs, police said.

Dover police say the two sisters, 48-year-old Pamela Haas and 43-year-old Candy Haas, surrendered to police at 4 p.m. and admitted that the decomposed remains discovered in a townhouse in Jefferson Court in Dover were that of their mother, Mary Haas. Police say the sisters called police from another state and an officer convinced them to turn themselves in.   

While police say the two women called them from another state, they will not say exactly from where. It took a detective to convince them over the phone to turn themselves in.  Police do not know if the two were on the run.  When they came to court Wednesday, they were accompanied by a neighbor and a pastor at a local church.

The sisters were were released on bond after police charged them with abusing a corpse, third-degree conspiracy and cruelty to animals.

According to court records, Mary Haas' body was found in a large blue plastic container in a bedroom closet. Also, according to court records, the body appears to have been in the container for about a year.

Police say they were first called to the home on Jefferson Court on Friday to remove about 110 cats and three dogs from unsanitary conditions. Police and animal control officers began removing the cats on Friday and returned on Monday to finish up the job. They say upon their return to the home, they found Mary Haas' decomposed body in a box in an upstairs bedroom. Several bodies of dead cats were also found in similar containers.

"I think that with the investigators locating the body inside, I think there was shock for the investigators there. They were not really ready for it at this time," said Capt. Lester Boney of the Dover Police Department.

The home has since been condemned by the city of Dover and the county health department because of unhealthy air quality and unsanitary conditions. Investigators had to use oxygen tanks to breathe inside the home. They say all the cats still alive had to be euthenized as they were diseased and living in their own filth.

Police were first called to the home after neighbors complained about the pungent smell of animal feces. But even neighbors were shocked by the number of cats found there and of course, the body. Neighbor Don Merchant said he had not seen Mary Hass out of her home in a long while.

"It's been like probably a little over a year since the last time I actually saw her outside or anything," Merchant said. "She'd at least go out now and then with a friend or maybe with the daughters somewhere."

Neighbor Susan Lorntzen said Mary Haas was a lovely woman, and she also had seen her in about a year. Lorntzen said she had asked one of the daughters about her a few months ago.

"I asked Pam about her mom, how she was doing and she would say, 'She's all right, she's not feeling very well today,' so I said, 'Tell her hello for me,'" Lorntzen said. 

An autopsy report is not yet complete, according to police. But so far, they say there are no signs of trauma or foul play.  Police say Haas had a hip injury and are hoping that may be a match. They have yet to positively identify the remains as that of Mary Haas. 

Police say the two sisters could face more charges. They are looking into the possibility that the daughters- who also lived in the home- were getting Social Security checks in their mother's name. Police are also waiting for the results of the autopsy before leveling any new charges.

Meantime, now that the house they lived in is condemned, the sisters have had no choice but to stay in a nearby shelter.

The case remains under investigation.

 

 

 

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Beautiful Crop, With a Not so Beautiful Name, Takes Root on Delmarva

    Beautiful Crop, With a Not so Beautiful Name, Takes Root on Delmarva

    May 22, 2018 1:47 PM2018-05-22 17:47:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:55 PM EDT2018-05-22 18:55:22 GMT
    Rapeseed flowers abound in Sands Gayle's fields in Parksley,Virginia. (Photo: WBOC)Rapeseed flowers abound in Sands Gayle's fields in Parksley,Virginia. (Photo: WBOC)
    Rapeseed flowers abound in Sands Gayle's fields in Parksley,Virginia. (Photo: WBOC)Rapeseed flowers abound in Sands Gayle's fields in Parksley,Virginia. (Photo: WBOC)
    There's a new crop that's slowly making its way onto Delmarva.  It's been around for centuries, but you've probably never heard of it, or realized how much it's used in everyday products.More
    There's a new crop that's slowly making its way onto Delmarva.  It's been around for centuries, but you've probably never heard of it, or realized how much it's used in everyday products.More
  • Arrests Made in Salisbury Armored Truck Robbery

    Arrests Made In Salisbury Armored Truck Robbery

    May 22, 2018 12:57 PM2018-05-22 16:57:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:22 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:22:44 GMT
    Pictured from left: Michael D. Watts, Orneth Patrick South and Ryan Shevin Smith (Photos credit: FBI/Salisbury Police Department)Pictured from left: Michael D. Watts, Orneth Patrick South and Ryan Shevin Smith (Photos credit: FBI/Salisbury Police Department)
    Pictured from left: Michael D. Watts, Orneth Patrick South and Ryan Shevin Smith (Photos credit: FBI/Salisbury Police Department)Pictured from left: Michael D. Watts, Orneth Patrick South and Ryan Shevin Smith (Photos credit: FBI/Salisbury Police Department)
    The Salisbury Police Department and the Baltimore FBI say three men have been arrested and charged in connection to January's armored truck robbery.More
    The Salisbury Police Department and the Baltimore FBI say three men have been arrested and charged in connection to January's armored truck robbery.More
  • Records: Teen Suspect Said he 'Drove at' Maryland Officer

    Records: Teen Suspect Said he 'Drove at' Maryland Officer

    May 22, 2018 11:24 AM2018-05-22 15:24:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:58 PM EDT2018-05-22 16:58:16 GMT
    Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested in connection with the death of Baltimore County police officer on Monday. (Baltimore County Police and Fire Department via AP)  Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested in connection with the death of Baltimore County police officer on Monday. (Baltimore County Police and Fire Department via AP)
    Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested in connection with the death of Baltimore County police officer on Monday. (Baltimore County Police and Fire Department via AP)Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested in connection with the death of Baltimore County police officer on Monday. (Baltimore County Police and Fire Department via AP)
    A 16-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a Baltimore County, Maryland, police officer, and three other suspects were taken into custody, authorities said Tuesday.More
    A 16-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a Baltimore County, Maryland, police officer, and three other suspects were taken into custody, authorities said Tuesday.     More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Ocean City Responds After Video of Criminal Activity During Cruisin' Weekend

    Ocean City Responds After Video of Criminal Activity During Cruisin' Weekend

    Ocean City's mayor and police department are speaking out after video showed a large fight and a truck driving wildly up the Ocean City Boardwalk over the weekend.

    More

    Ocean City's mayor and police department are speaking out after video showed a large fight and a truck driving wildly up the Ocean City Boardwalk over the weekend.

    More
  • Choptank Transport

    Choptank Transport

    There are so many businesses here on Delmarva that when you hear their name, you know exactly what they’re all about. One of those names in Choptank Transport. But what makes Choptank stand out are the faces behind the name. DelmarvaLife’s Sydney Whitfield visited the business to learn about what went into building such a hard-working team.

    More

    There are so many businesses here on Delmarva that when you hear their name, you know exactly what they’re all about. One of those names in Choptank Transport. But what makes Choptank stand out are the faces behind the name. DelmarvaLife’s Sydney Whitfield visited the business to learn about what went into building such a hard-working team.

    More
  • Dover Sears Department Store to Close

    Dover Sears Department Store to Close

    Sears Holdings said it is closing a department store at the Dover Mall in early August.

    The corporation said the Sears store in the Dover Mall would be shut down as part of an effort to consolidate its stores to help adjust to a refocused business strategy.

    More

    Sears Holdings said it is closing a department store at the Dover Mall in early August.

    The corporation said the Sears store in the Dover Mall would be shut down as part of an effort to consolidate its stores to help adjust to a refocused business strategy.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices