Newly-released case files from the Houston Police Department include a investigator’s official best guess at how Mary Cerruti’s skeleton ended up in a 5 ft.-9 in. by 1 ft.-7 in. space between the walls of her bungalow: a plank in the attic collapsed, writes detective T. Fay, sending Cerruti down into the 8-and-a-half-foot tall opening where she became trapped and died. The photo above — one of 235 police took at the scene — shows the hole in the floorboards where her remains were found to the right of the attic door.
Cerruti, the former homeowner, was an opponent of the Yale at 6th apartments that eventually encircled her bungalow at 610 Allston St. On an afternoon last March — reports the Chronicle’s Emily Foxhall, who’s been all over the story as it’s developed — firefighters responding to a 911 call from the new renter who’d discovered the remains arrived at the address and busted open the wall from the house’s first floor. Fay, the detective, speculated that the spot in the wall housing the bones might once have been a linen closet, sealed off by renovations.
A missing person’s report filed 2 years earlier in 2015 — after Cerruti first disappeared — suggested that the remains were likely hers. But with the bones and a few other items as the only evidence police could recover from the scene, there wasn’t much for them to investigate. There were no signs of foul play at the bungalow, and no reason to believe someone was out to harm Cerruti. The only thing police had left to do was wait for forensic identification — which the medical examiner announced last month.
- The last word on the Heights bones case [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: Skeleton Found Hidden in Holdout Heights House Belongs to Missing Owner, Medical Examiner Declares; A Twist in the Mystery of Who Owns Those Heights Holdout House Bones; Bones Found in Holdout Heights House Attic Tell No Tales; Alexan Heights Holdout House Where the Skeleton Was Found Last Weekend Now Up for Sale; Human Skeleton Discovered in That Heights House That Wouldn’t Sell to Trammell Crow; Trammell Crow’s 5-Story Apartment Complex Surrounding Holdout Heights House; Allston or Nothing: Side Street Now at Center of Alexan Yale Apartment Dispute; A Photo Tour: The 2 Yale St. Lots Where Those 2 Alexan Apartment Complexes Want To Be; A Second Midrise Alexan Planned Right Beside the First One on Yale; Stealing a Glance at Proposed Alexan Heights on Yale; Heights Lot Prepared for Midrise Apartments
Photo: Houston Police Department via Emily Foxhall