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Woman finds out her rental home was a gruesome murder scene

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An East Memphis woman said she's living in a crime scene after finding blood, skin, and bullet holes in her new rental home.

After doing some digging, she found out the place she calls home is the same house where a man was brutally murdered.

Police say two months ago, Michael Wilson, Jr., killed his roommate, then chopped up the body inside the home on Dunn.

Jen Selph-Byars found blood on the walls and around the vents, and the murder suspect and victim's belongings in the kitchen drawers.

"I'm sorry. We are living out of boxes," Selph Byars said as she took us through the home. "You got to make sure they don't jump out at you. There's babies and big ones."

It's not the cockroaches crawling all over her house that has her freaked out. It's the blood stains smeared on the walls, and bullet holes and knife marks throughout the house.

Just days after Selph-Byars moved in, she found out the man who lived there two months ago is accused of killing his roommate, then chopping off his head, feet, and hands.

"We were putting our hands over our mouths like, 'Oh my God,'" Selph-Byars said.

She said she found the victim's wallet, some men's clothing, and some soap still in the shower.

Selph-Byars said she never looked at the house.

"We just saw through the windows," she said.

"I was desperate! I didn't have anywhere else to go," Selph-Byars aded.

She said she can't get out of her lease.

Her landlord, David Isom, told WREG he painted over the walls, but blood bleeds through. He also used every chemical to try to get rid of the odor.

Isom said if it is blood, he will paint over it again.

Isom said the murder wasn't that bad, and by law, he doesn't have to tell renters the home's history.

Attorney Michael Working said he's right. You have to go to police.

"You can get the police, for about 50 cents a page, to print out a crime history of what's happened at that address," Working said.

Working said as a renter, you can get out of a lease if your landlord cuts off essential services like utilities or heat.

He also said if you demand in writing your landlord fix something, and he/she doesn't in two weeks, it's possible to get out of your lease.

Working said you must inspect your rental property before you sign anything. Check light switches, water, and plumbing to make sure everything works.

22 comments

    • James Stewart

      what this landlord done is despicable but I think you can get out of it. If you are finding bodily fluids , blood and human skin that would mean that it is a biohazard. Whenever there is a blood scene a special crime scene clean up should have been done and I would not touch anything but I would talk to a lawyer about the safety hazard. You could get Hep A B or C or even what about aids. I would check it out as a biohazard. If it is, the landlord can be made to pay for you to stay in a hotel while the clean up and proper removal of the biohazards are removed and repaired or he may choose to give you your money back and then some but a lawyer could tell you more. Go for the bio-hazzard issue.

  • stobo

    remind me never to rent a home from this guy..painting over blood really? of course it is going to come back…spend the money and clean the place…do you not even care about people?

  • Face Palm

    ” Isom said the murder wasn’t that bad, and by law, he doesn’t have to tell renters the home’s history.” No, not bad at all. I mean a man was only butchered and your slap painting job is more than enough to make the home livable. I hope Isom reads these comments because I just want to say to him that he is a colossal d o uche canoe! You just can’t paint over blood with cheap paint you bought at Walmart, you need to remove and repair the sections of walls with blood. Also you need to hire a professional cleaning company to scrub that awful house and I’m just going to assume you didn’t replace any flooring either. You can’t even patch the bullet and knife holes in the walls! Either you are a complete i d iot or just too lazy to do any needed repairs to the home, perhaps both. If my land lord did that to me I would move out and not pay one dime to break the lease. Then again my landlord is an outstanding home owner. Perhaps I should have her contact you and teach you a few things about being a decent person and not a slum lord. That poor woman is probably living in a filthy bacteria infested petri dish and if she gets sick living in your house I hope she sues you! You’re not even a slum lord, you’re a scu m lord.

    • E. Zach Lee-Wright

      Tennessee has a law protects sellers, landlords, and real estate agents from having to disclose psychological defects. This means you can’t sue because the house is haunted. And you can’t break the lease. It’s a bummer, I know, but guess who is also a victim of this murderer: David Isom.

  • Council Clowns

    If I were this lady I would move out of that house and as “Face Palm” said that scumlord would not get another dime from me. I have five rentals myself and this is ridiculous. What a scumbag scumlord.

  • Pamela JohnsonPamela Johnson

    How in the world did the police leave behind the victims wallet? Wow.The rental properties in Memphis are appalling,people in this area are used to going into a dump and trying to make it liveable. The landlord sounds like a real standup kinda man….

    • Jennifer

      Even before noticing the blood/skin/bullet holes, I would have been wary of finding leftover belongings from the previous tenant (i.e. wallet, clothing, soap). That shows the landlord didn’t do a thorough (or even a half-assed) job of “cleaning” the property in the first place. And then to discover a “not so bad” murder took place? I’d be outta there.

      I am assuming the new tenant isn’t from Memphis or she would have heard about this murder since it was only 2 months ago.

  • JMemphis

    I did post crime scene clean up for a while, and this is ridiculous. This home is a biohazard, and Isom is a known slumlord around the Getwell/Park area. He obviously won’t put the money down to fix this properly. It takes thousands of dollars to actually make a house safe depending on the circumstances. I had to take an apartment down to the subfloor and cut out feet and feet of sheetrock for one job. If it still smells like death, anywhere in the house, it is a biohazard. Hepatitis doesn’t just leave with Febreze. Isom needs to step up and stand behind his properties for once.

  • JayM

    All she has to do is not pay rent. Go look for another house and warn people of the situation and landlord. That’ll force him to void the lease quickly.

    • Oh No

      Unfortunately if she stopped paying rent and the landlord decided to take legal action he can do that, since he did technically follow the law. But I totally agree, even if he wouldn’t void the lease I’d probably just take my chances, stop paying rent and leave.

  • Lisa Ransom

    The landlord said the murder wasnt that bad? What the heck? The victim’s head, hands and feet were chopped off!

  • concerned

    While Isom should have done a whole lot more, he is not the only one at fault. The lady admits she rented WITHOUT going inside the house. Come on how many people are going to rent ANYWHERE without first seeing the inside. Also where has she been the last 2 months. This was all over the news.

  • Cityisajoke

    Lady keep your stuff packed and get the hell out of that house. Other comments are right. …..biohazard!!!!!!!! They can’t make you stay. Even if they tried…..i would leave

  • Joy

    This is the mind set of many slumlords across Memphis, she was probably desperate had kids and needed some where fast. He took full advantage of her situation. She can get out the lease on the grounds of being illiterate, he took advantage of some one who doesn’t know any better.

  • John T. Dwyer

    If Andy Wise was still at Channel 3, the poor woman would have had a new place to stay by now. As it is Channel 3 will run this story (milk) for another 4 days. Then, tough luck woman!

    November sweeps!

    • JMemphis

      Depending on the amount of blood, the surface it was on, and how long it soaked through, bleach will not remove it. Sheetrock for example will surface clean, but once the heat comes on in the winter it leeches back up to the surface. Not even Killz takes care of it. That’s also why the odor lingers. The sheetrock has to be cut out and patched, and any carpeting needs to be stripped to the subfloor for the same reason. On any non porous surface bleach works great.

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