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WREG helps woman get weeds cut at abandoned home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- WREG is getting you answers.

A Berclair woman said the property next to her home was covered in weeds until today.

The weeds are now getting cut after News Channel 3 asked some questions.

The same house on Print Avenue was where police said an elderly man was attacked, beaten and starved in 2015.

A family was recently indicted for the death of the home's owner, 78-year-old Paul Maher.

Police said he was beaten, tied up and starved for days.

Johnnie King didn't know what else to do. Everyday she looked at overgrown, unkempt weeds and grass.

"We've tried everything. I've had the police over here and code," she said.

She lives next door to a now vacant home off Print Avenue. It has fallen to the wayside since police said the owner was murdered in 2015.

For King, the property was more than an eyesore; it's been a safety hazard.

"It's horrible. And we have to put up with rats and snakes comin' out of there," she said.

She says it's not just rodents infesting the home and yard.

"We just have all kinds of people. Come up my driveway, jump over the fence to get in there and sometimes we're standing right there by the mailbox and they'll come up anyway! It is downright scary some of the trash that comes up in here."

She's had to take matters into her own hands.

"It just kept getting worse and worse so I went and got a gun. I got a permit I got a permit to carry. Somebody has got to keep us safe."

King and other homeowners in the area showed us records of when they reached out to code enforcement. Just five days ago they received a notification the mess had been cleaned up, but King says that never happened.

On Monday WREG got involved.

The city of Memphis told us City Ground Services inspected and placed a notice of violation on May 26. A notice of violation was sent on the next business day, May 30.

A contractor visited the location on June 8 and found no external violation. They reported the gate was locked.

On June 14  there was another citizen report about the property.  According to the city, it was inspected and placed in violation on June 16. The same contractor visited the location on June 20 but the gate was locked.

The property was serviced by a contractor on June 26.

The home is still listed under Maher's name on the Shelby County Assessor's Office, but his daughter is taking care of the home, according to neighbors.