Mother’s body decayed for years in home she shared with her adult children, TN cops say

Mitchell Willetts
·2 min read

Police uncovered a Tennessee mother’s skeletal remains last week, hidden under a pile of clothes in the apartment she shared with her four adult children, outlets report.

A cause of death isn’t known for Laronda Jolly, 56. But according to investigators, she had been left to decay for at least two years while her kids, all of whom have developmental disabilities, continued living in the Nashville home, WKRN reported.

Officers with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office discovered her remains Oct. 21 while serving an eviction notice over missed rent payments, the station reported.

Her brother, Anthony Jolly, tried for months to get in touch with her, but she would never answer the phone or come to the door, he told WSMV. Instead, her children would.

“I started going down there, and my nieces and nephews would say, ‘Well she’s asleep. You can’t see her right now.’ … I would say, ‘Well all I want to do is see my sister. If I can just see her face I’ll be fine and I’ll leave you alone,’” Jolly told the station.

When he called his sister’s phone, someone else would answer pretending to be her.

In August, he requested a welfare check, but officers weren’t able to make contact with her, WKRN reported.

“For them to stay in that apartment with your own mother’s decaying body, I can’t understand it and I guess I never will understand it,” Anthony Jolly told WSMV.

Asked why they never called police, Anthony Jolly’s nieces and nephews said they were following their mother’s wishes “to let me lay here,” according to the station.

They also told him his sister died in 2017, but told police she died in 2018.

“We want to know what happened to her. We want to know the cause of death if they can determine the cause of death,” Jolly said, according to WSMV.

An autopsy turned up little information, WTVF reports. There are no indications of foul play, and with the body so decomposed, toxicology testing will be difficult.

Investigators say it’s possible a cause of death will never be determined, WTVF reported.

Tennessee Adult Protective Services is helping take care of the four children.

No charges have been filed, the station reported.