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Retirement facility didn't notice man was dead for 2 weeks, family says

Posted: 6:42 PM, May 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-01 00:43:22Z

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A family says their loved one was dead for two weeks before anyone in his retirement community noticed.

After Paul Patterson, 77, suffered a stroke, he decided he needed to live in a place where he could get more support, according to his family members. He moved into an apartment at SEM Manor, which describes itself as a "retirement & assisted living facility" on its Facebook page.

Patterson's family was shocked when a detective called with the tragic news of his death.

"Nobody ... should hear something like, 'Your brother has been dead for two weeks in an apartment," Patterson's sister, Martha McKee, said. 

McKee and Patterson's niece, Tamra Foster, said the coroner told them that his body had been decomposing for two weeks before anyone at the facility noticed he was dead. A police report states that management finally noticed because a resident complained about a smell.

"That it took somebody next door to say there's a foul odor is very upsetting," Foster said. 

Management at SEM Manor didn't want to comment. Their sign indicates they receive taxpayer money through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Their website advertises that, in exchange for 30 percent of a resident's income, SEM Manor provides housing and amenities like scheduled transportation, activities and a caring staff.

Patterson's family said he was anything but cared for, and that the closed casket at his funeral proves it.

"Somebody laying there for two weeks, it's just wrong," McKee said.

The sheriff's office said the death is still under investigation. The coroner's office has not yet determined a cause of death.