One day Houston resident Mary Cerruti was there and the next she had vanished without a trace.
The 61-year-old woman’s sudden disappearance has been and continues to be a mystery even after the chilling discovery new owners of the home she lived in made in the attic on Saturday: human skeletal remains.
The Houston Chronicle published a lengthy article about Cerruti in light of the discovery headlined “Bones found in wall of Heights home of woman who disappeared in 2015.”
In it, the Chronicle gives a timeline of Cerruti’s mysterious disappearance.
Neighbors who knew her had no idea why there was a for sale sign on the home she purchased in 2001 or why renovations were being done.
Cerruti lived alone, but was active in the community and appeared at planning commission meetings to oppose some of the building projects being done around her home.
“Literally this project is going to be in my backyard,” she said on Feb. 14, 2013. “I’m surrounded. And I just don’t see the sense of this project. It seems like just too many apartments for such a small space.”
She appeared there “dressed in pink, with eyeglasses perched on her nose and gray hair falling past her shoulders.”
In 2015, Cerruti was finally reported missing.
The skeletal remains were discovered in a gap in an attic wall alongside a pair of red eyeglasses.
The new residents on Saturday shifted a board in the attic, peered down inside a wall and saw the remains. Nothing else was there but a tattered rag and the red glasses, of the $5 drugstore variety. Animals had disturbed the skeleton, police said.
The residents called police in the afternoon, and the medical examiner’s office finished extracting the bones shortly before 7 p.m. They appeared to belong to an adult, Houston Police Detective Jason Fay said.
The new homeowners were “a little worried because they have a body in the house,” Fay said. “Was it someone who was killed and stuffed in the wall, or did they accidentally pass away by ending up in the wall?”
It was revealed that animals had disturbed the remains.
Despite police searching the home, the cleaning out if dead cats and numerous home renovations after foreclosure, the skeleton went unfound.
Detective Fay said that it was possible the deceased fell into an empty space in the attic.
The exact date of Cerruti’s disappearance remains unknown and the skeleton has not yet been confirmed to be hers.
Cerruti’s ex-husband had been in Hawaii when the discovery was made.
A neighbor who knew Cerruti, Roxanne Davis, expressed her regret to the Chronicle.
“I wish I knew what more we could have done, how we could have pushed it farther to get somebody to do something else,” she said.
Another neighbor asked, “This lady could just disappear off the face of this Earth, and nobody knows?”
One way or another we have a tragedy on our hands. There is no evidence at this time to support that something sinister took place, which some have speculated.
We will know more once the remains are confirmed to be Cerruti’s.