Abandoned home in Southaven attracts critters, roaches and mold

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. -- Rats, roaches, garbage and mold! That's what a neighborhood in Southaven is battling.

A home on Stonebrook Cove was abandoned in January, and now neighbors are trying to find out how to clean it up.

"Stuff piled up past the windows. Stuff you'd see on a reality show like Hoarders. The stench at night is unbearable," said neighbor Jeff Wheeler.

Neighbors snapped pictures inside the home before it was boarded up. You can see food, furniture and trash piling high in every room.

"The original owner, the husband, died about this time last year" said Wheeler.

Wheeler said that man's family moved out in January and deserted everything inside.

Over the past few months, critters have it made it their new home.

"We've got roaches, rodents the size of cats, snakes. We've seen snakes out here," said Wheeler.

Other neighbors can attest.

"I'm seeing roaches every night. Rats in the backyards," said a woman who lives next door.

WREG called code enforcement but never heard back. We saw they left notices and multiple citations on the front door.

Wheeler said city crews mow the property and even tore down a storage shed in the back.

"Code enforcement said all they can do is the outside of the house," he said.

As for the inside of the home, we went looking for answers.

According to the Chancery Court Clerk's website, the property owner, who Wheeler said died last year, refinanced the property in 2014.

Documents list the substitute trustee as a law office out of Alabama. We called them but never heard back.

Meanwhile, the clerk's office was unaware the property owner died but told WREG if he did, it could prolong the process.

Basically, the home is in limbo. It's leaving neighbors feeling helpless.

"Pretty helpless right now. I'm buying stuff from Home Depot to battle the roaches. The lady here is doing the same thing," said Wheeler.

Last night, Southaven Board of Alderman approved a contract with North Mississippi Pest Control to provide services, as needed, to condemn properties within the city.

Aldermen said this was in efforts to protect neighboring residents from severe issues inside some of these abandoned homes.