NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — Police in New Kensington arrested a man after his mother was found deceased in a duct-taped shut room inside her home.
According to police, during a welfare check on Victoria Avenue, they discovered the body of 68-year-old Marcia Smock.
This was after her son, Robert Hawk, claimed that she was not in the home and staying with a friend. Officers then noticed trash and other items all over the floor along with a foul odor coming from the home.
After police asked for the address where Marcia was staying, Robert then admitted Marcia was dead inside the house. He also admitted to being her primary care provider.
“The smell, the neighbors that are closer actually had the smell, I didn’t notice the smell, but they probably more of the bugs than I even did,” said Mary Ferber, a neighbor.
Police found Marcia dead inside a room that had the door and vents duct-taped shut.
Hawk told police that he attempted to revive his mother, but was unable. From there, he duct-taped the room and vents shut.
Robert told police that she had died sometime in early June and he did not report the death because she was receiving nearly $2,000 in social security assistance that he then used to “pay bills.”
“You’re supposed to be able to trust your family, they should be taking care of you, not taking advantage of you,” Ferber added.
Police also found 19 live cats, one dead cat, and one dead dog on the property. The animals had no food or clean water, then when authorities opened the windows, a swarm of bugs was unleashed on the neighborhood.
“They left the windows open afterward and were inundated with bugs,” said Ferber. “We’ve sprayed over and over, but bugs ended up even in our homes, me and the neighbors.”
Hawk is free on his own recognizance but faces 62 charges including abuse of a corpse, felony theft, aggravated cruelty to animals and dozens of neglect of animals charges.