Cops Find No Corpse, Only Trash in Stinky Apartment

By Jennifer Millman
|  Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 9:30 AM EDT
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Cops Find No Corpse, Only Trash in Stinky Apartment

AP

Authorities said the place was so littered with trash it looked like a landfill.

Police were expecting the worst when they broke down an apartment door in Queens because of the putrid stench emanating from inside. They didn't end up finding a decomposing body, but what they did discover made a bunch of them sick. 

When firefighters broke down the door at the apartment in Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City, they saw tenant Ming Li Sung alive – coexisting with decomposing trash piled from the floor to the ceiling, according to the Daily News.

"When they started trying to clear away some of the trash to get in, he popped up inside, yelling, 'Get out! Get out!" Ray West, who lives across the hall, told the paper.

Cops first smelled something amiss when they responded to the apartment complex earlier that morning for a domestic dispute; they stench was so bad they thought Sung was dead and may have been decomposing in his apartment for some time.

But Sung was far from dead. And neither were the cockroaches that poured out of the apartment in armies when FDNY haz-mat teams started to remove some of the trash – rotting, wet garbage in grocery bags and heaps of debris piled throughout the home.

 "The police were throwing up," West told the News.

The 69-year-old tenant was transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center for a psychiatric evaluation, cops said. He doesn't face any charges for living in what those at the scene described as more of a landfill than an apartment.

West told the News the stench coming out of Sung's apartment has been a problem for years. And while most of his neighbors have been able to move out, he and his wife have still been waiting for a transfer.

West, who recently returned from 18 months of combat in Afghanistan, said he called 311 and tried to get in touch with the city Housing Authority and the Health Department but kept getting tossed around from agency to agency, reports the News.

The city ended up taking Sung for a psych evaluation at Bellevue last year, but eventually just ended up bringing him back, West told the News.

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