A couple who specialise in cleaning up some of the worst crime scenes have spoken about their most horrifying experience.
Kenny and Leanne Elliott, who run Traumatic Clean Up, in Devon, have dealt with everything from suicides, human waste-filled houses and hit-and-runs.
They are not usually phased by anything.
But the husband-and-wife team said a body ‘melting’ during last year’s heatwave is one of the incidents that could have come straight from a nightmare.
Often they are called to clean up after an ‘unattended death’, Plymouth Live reports , which means someone has passed away and been left undiscovered for a number of days.
This can range anywhere between a few days to a months.
On this particular occasion, nothing could prepare them for what they were about to be faced with.
The firm pride themselves on confidentiality, so are limited on the jobs they can talk about- every job discussed has either been approved or certain details have been left out so it is untraceable.
Leanne and Kenny got a call during the heat-wave last year, to attend a body which had not been found for 10 days, in a property in the Devon area.
Whenever they attend a scene, the police and coroner have already moved the body – they are just left with the mess. When they arrived, they found that the body had basically melted from the heat, as it had been near the window.
Leanne said: “We attended a death clean up after the heat-wave, where the body had been under a window for 10 days.
"It had basically cooked in the heat. Maggots were under the floor as was body fat and bodily fluid."
The couple’s crime-scene cleaning business has meant that they are used to being called to traumatic incidents, which has made them experienced in dealing with unattended deaths.
She explained: "We get called to manage situations after people have died, when no-one is with them, and perhaps they haven’t been found for a couple of days, or in some cases weeks.
"In the heat of last year, we were called to a property where an occupant had died, in front of a window, in all of that heat. The police and the coroner have already been there when we get there, we deal with what’s left.
"In this case, it was not just bodily fluids, but body fat and in turn, once the carpet had been cut out, the floor needed to be cut out, and once that had gone we found the maggots. It’s not unusual, it’s all in a days work."
They say their sense of humour gets them through some of the toughest situations – and often draw straws to see who will deal with the least desirable task.
Last week, the couple and their sons were recently called to a job in the Devon area, where they were met with 400 bags of human excrement and more than 250 cider bottles filled with urine, in one house.
The former-teacher added: "Ryan picked the smallest straw and spent five hours discarding urine and poo. How do you cope with something like that? You make sure you don’t pick the short straw" Leanne said.
"And you wear a good mask, white suits, gloves and make sure your water bottle is unique so you don’t mix things up!"
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