SEBASTIAN, Fla. -- Police arrested a Sebastian, Fla., woman after discovering the mummified remains of her 96-year-old mother inside her home.
Authorities charged Penelope Jordan, 61, with fraud and grand theft, West Palm Beach television station WPBF reported.
Sebastian police received a search warrant to enter the home on Wimbrow Drive shortly before 5 p.m. Monday.
Code enforcement officers removed eight cats from the home during the weekend and notified police about possible human remains inside.
"There's excessive debris in the residence and it's very difficult to make your way around inside this house," Officer Steve Marcinik said. "While moving around in there, they observed something that was somewhat suspicious and upon that they notified law enforcement."
Neighbors had also been complaining of a foul smell coming from the home.
Michael Pearce said he's complained to the city about feral cats running loose on the property and a foul smell "for at least a decade, if not 12 years" since he has lived there.
Police said Timmie Jordan, 96, had been dead for years. Her mummified body was found in her bed.
Investigators said she still had on her nightgown and her skin had fused to the mattress.
Police said Penelope Jordan, her live-in daughter, admitted to cashing her mother's Social Security checks for at least six years.
"It tears me up," neighbor Theda Furtado said. "The lady next door can't stop crying because she smelled the smell all along, but then someone else told her it was just a cat."
Investigators called the home 'a house of filth,' filled wall to wall with debris.
"It's just bad, and there's (an) open sewer in the back yard," Louise Martin said.
Neighbors said they hadn't seen or heard from Jordan's mother in years.
"Not in a million years would I (have) thought that lady would (be) like that. But she was real standoffish."
Pearce said he wondered why it took so long for authorities to discover that something was wrong.
"It's a little surreal," Pearce said.
A medical examiner determined Tuesday that Timmie Jordan died of natural causes, but the body has not been positively identified.