Corpse Found Among Bedbug Infestation

KOAT-TV (NM)
Thursday, July 28, 2011

Albuquerque police said they found a man's body in an apartment infested with bed bugs on Wednesday, and now the complex might be facing trouble with the city.

The safe city strike force said Uptown Park Apartments on Indian School has had bed bug infestation since spring, and that there are other code violations. The apartment manager said he admits there is a problem, and they're shelling out thousands of dollars to fix it.

Police said bed bugs most likely didn't kill the man, but people living in the building are very concerned about the infestation.

"It does matter because that's too close for comfort," said Mary Glim, a neighbor.

Albuquerque city spokesman, Chris Ramirez, said, "On a low to a high, we would consider this an extremely high level of bed bugs found in these three units."

The apartment manager said in March, about 20 units out of 230 were infested. Since then, she said, they've spent $20,000 trying to get rid of the bed bugs. She said three apartments were the only ones that have an infestation problem now, and they were being treated. One of those units was where the man was found dead.

Other code violations include not having fire extinguishers, or smoke detectors where they should, and proper emergency exits. The city is giving management seven days to bring the property up to code.

The name of the man who died has not yet been released pending notification of family.

The city warns potential renters to look closely before leasing an apartment at Uptown Park.

"We would not recommend living in any of those three units," Ramirez said.

Neighbor Iris Crespin said, "I think it's scary that somebody died. But the bedbugs, that's just really gross."

"We're not citing the owner today, but what we have said is, 'We're putting you on warning,'" Ramirez said.

Neighbors said they're surprised by the news of the death and the information about the bedbugs is spreading.

"I haven't had any problems, but I've heard about them," Crespin said.

Police have not said whether the death has any connection to the bug infestation. They're waiting on the results of an autopsy.