Hoarder died of accidental asphyxia after floor collapsed, official says

CHESHIRE, Conn. -- Medical examiners in Connecticut say an apparent hoarder died of accidental and traumatic asphyxia after a floor piled high with debris collapsed into her basement.

The chief medical examiner's office released the cause of death of 66-year-old Beverly Mitchell on Tuesday. Her body was found Saturday as crews were using a backhoe to remove debris from her home in Cheshire. Police say she may have been dead for more than a week.

Officers went to Mitchell's home on Thursday after a postal carrier reported that her mail was piling up. Officials say they didn't find anyone and thought Mitchell wasn't home. Police say it wasn't until Friday that officials realized the first floor had collapsed.

Building officials are determining whether the home needs to be torn down.

It's estimated that up to five percent of the U.S. population is a hoarder, with an equal number of men and women. A recent CBS News poll finds that a third of all Americans say they have too much clutter in their homes.

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