A man in his 60s fatally shot himself when authorities entered his home and found he had been living for months with a corpse.

The investigating team was prodded by neighbors who contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday evening saying that one of the men residing in a home in West Houston has not been seen for months, this was according to Deputy Thomas Gilliland, an agency spokesman.

Bad Odor From Corpse

At that house in west Houston, deputies “did notice that there were a lot of flies and a bad odor from one end of the house,” Gilliland said. They did not know it was from a corpse.

After entering the home, the deputies heard a shot and found the body of a man with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Gilliland said.

“In another adjoining bedroom, they did find the body of a male also that had been severely decomposed,” Gilliland said, citing a timeframe of at least several months.

He said an autopsy was planned on the decomposed body.

Investigators believe the two men lived together but said they were trying to determine other details about their relationship.

Both men were believed to be in their 60s. Their names have not been released by authorities.

Suicide among the elderly

Twelve percent of the US population is composed of older adults who account for 18% of all suicide deaths. This is an upsetting figure, as the elderly are the fastest-growing segment of the population, making the issue of later-life suicide a chief public health priority.

Middle-aged people, especially males, have the highest rate of suicide compared to other groups. Eighty percent of all deaths by suicide in the U.S. are among men and women aged 45-54. Men ages 85 and older have the highest rate of any group in the country. Many factors contribute to this risk, including isolation, a history of violence, and access to lethal means.


In this Houston self-inflicted death case, authorities continue to investigate who was the corpse in that house, what his relationship is to the man who just killed himself, and why the elderly man shot himself to death.

But the biggest questions are – why was the corpse being made to stay in the house? Did the elderly murder him? Or was it a case of mercy killing?

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