Cats being cared for after woman is found dead in Mesa home

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A deputy chases one of the cats at this Mesa home. A deputy chases one of the cats at this Mesa home.
© Mike Williams, cbs5az.com © Mike Williams, cbs5az.com

Detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office found the body of a woman inside a home after neighbors called to report she had not been seen for days.

Deputies said the 65-year-old woman appeared to have died from natural causes and lived in what they described as hoarder conditions.

At least 31 cats had been found at the home, and didn't appear to have been abused, according to deputies.

Deputies said some of the cats had upper respiratory issues. They gave the cats food and water and made arrangements with the Arizona Humane Society to take custody of the cats later in the day.

Deputies from the SWAT division used self-contained breathing equipment due to the conditions in and around the home near Ellsworth and Adobe roads.

The neighbors CBS 5 News spoke with said the victim was a nice lady who had hoarding and health problems.

"She was a nice soul and, you know, who wants to be the bad cop and go turn her in," neighbor Liva Butler said.

Susan Cordovano told CBS 5 News she moved to the neighborhood about a year ago and said it was about three months ago when the the home started to get worse.

"I didn't know the conditions were that bad," Cordovano said. "We knew she had animals but I thought maybe 10, 20."

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

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