Police find woman’s decomposed body in apartment

Charles Peters is accused of hiding the death of his aunt, Elizabeth Stewart.

Charles Peters and his aunt Elizabeth Stewart, 88, lived together at the Emory Square Apartment complex on North Williams Drive in Decatur for almost a year. But a month after Stewart’s death, DeKalb County Police say her nephew attempted to conceal her death while her body decomposed in the bedroom.

 The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit arrested Peters, 37, on Oct. 24 based on allegations he did not report the death of his aunt.

 According to police reports, Peters kept Stewart’s decomposing body in her bed for approximately one month. The apartment they shared was filled with scented candles and air freshener bottles to keep the odor of the body from being detected.

 Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the Emory Village residence until a landlord attempted to collect past due rent from Stewart and Peters.

 Apartment manager Vincent Rodriguez said he had not heard from or seen Stewart in approximately three months and had not received a payment from the tenants in three months as well.

 According to an incident report, Rodriguez spoke with Peters in September and notified him that he was past due on rent. Peters then apologized and said the payments would be “taken care of.”

 In October, Rodriguez returned to the residence to see if anyone was living at the apartment. Rodriquez noticed the rear porch sliding door was unlocked and walked in. According to Rodriguez, he noticed a strong odor coming from the rear bedroom “with the sheets drawn up high to the top of the bed” and then called police.

 “I made my way to the bedroom and smelled the distinct odor of a decomposing human body,” DeKalb officer C.M. Delon said in his incident report. “I removed the bed sheets and observed a white towel draped over a face. After removing the towel, I observed what appeared to be an advanced decomposing body of a white female…a candle was still lit on the dresser next to the bed.”

 Delon said it appeared that someone was still living at the residence because the power was still on. Inside the bedroom was a turned on computer on as well as unopened mail addressed to both Stewart and Peters.

 “It was obvious that someone was still residing in the apartment,” Delon said.


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