published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Mummified animals found in vacant house by Chattanooga police

6510 Foxden Lane
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Chattanooga police are investigating circumstances surrounding the discovery of several dead animals in an abandoned house in the Hixson area.

Police and McKamey Animal Shelter workers showed up to 6510 Foxden Lane on Monday, said Chris Dorsey, a next-door neighbor since 2005.

"It's been empty the whole time we've been here," he said.

According to the Hamilton County assesor's website, the house was built in 1979. It is located in the River Chase subdivision.

On Wednesday, a warrant was hanging on the abandoned house's front door. The warrant was issued for a search for an Elizabeth Ann Rice Ehmling and for evidence of "pet carcasses pet supplies related to animal cruelty and/or animal neglect including the evidence of the failure to reasonably provide food and water (sic)."

A search warrant return on the door indicated five cats and two dogs were found mummified inside.

The animals were left inside for such a long period of time they began to feed on each other, according to police.

Other signs hanging on the front door indicate the structure is "condemned" and "unsafe."

Dorsey said even though the house is abandoned, the exterior of the structure was kept up.

"The only issue was the grass, and a lawn service would regularly come out and cut it," Dorsey said.

He said he had been told that the house's utilities were still being paid.

A woman at the house across the street from the condemned house said she has been asked by several agencies not to comment.

The investigation is ongoing.

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