Update: Body Found in Blighted Danville House Identified
The medical examiner's office in Roanoke has identified the body found in the blighted house as 51-year-old Leroy Oliver of Danville. Danville Police believe he was homeless.
Danville, VA - Some people say a body found in a Danville house Monday serves as a sign of how bad blight is in the city.Danville Police were called to Floyd Street, where they found a man, believed to be homeless, dead inside the abandoned home.
Police say the last time someone was found dead in an abandoned home was two years ago, but officials say they regularly find crimes being committed in locations just like it.
Equipped with gas masks and fans, Danville Police recovered a body from this abandoned Floyd Street house.
"I believe it took place over the course of the weekend," said Cpt. Dennis Haley, Danville Police Department.
Haley suspects a homeless man's body lay there for at least 24 hours before the owner of the house found it and called police. While police say the death does not appear suspicious, some people have concerns.
"It's a serious issue for Danville. It's something that I think is going to be an ongoing problem that we are working really hard to address," said Lee Vogler, City Councilman.
The house had boards on its windows and 'blight' attached to its description. Haley says no one had legally lived there for years.
"These properties just sit there, so it's definitely a problem," said Vogler.
"Most of the people who live in them are substance abusers and its a convenient way for them to go in and do it," said Haley.
Councilman Lee Vogler says the city actively addresses the blight problem by tearing down around 300 abandoned houses a year.
While the home is not currently on the city's blight eradication list, it is considered one of the 2,000 blighted properties in the city. Vogler says the recent situation proves the need for fixing the city's blight problem.
"It's scary to think that someone could die and it could be that long before you notice and think about other things that could be going on in there that nobody would know about," said Vogler.
In an attempt to further fix the blight problem, Volger proposed a Blight Task Force Committee. While it was shot down in the last work session, Vogler says he plans to adjust it and bring it up again at a further date.