Many people were openly disgusted when the news came out about a woman who lived alone, along with her dog, was found dead in her home on Goodrich Street in Hartford. Debra Jurasus-Shriner by all reports had been deceased in her home, undiscovered, for at least two months. The reports painted a very grim picture of a decomposing corpse of both Debra Jurasus-Shriner and her dog, lying dead in the house. Mail was reported to be piling up as well as a strong odor coming from the house.
Fingers were quickly pointed at the Hartford Police Department and the way the calls from neighbors and others were handled. Mayor Segarra quickly called for a complete investigation into the matter.
Now the entire situation is about to take another bizarre twist that will, and should, be a black eye for our City.
Several police sources have confirmed for me that arrest warrants are expected to be issued by prosecutors and the Court for several neighbors of Debra Jurasus-Shriner. It seems that while Debra Jurasus-Shriner lay deceased and decomposing in her home, at least four of her neighbors were burglarizing her home and stealing her property. Apparently, according to sources, none of the thieves ever took the time to make an anonymous call to alert authorities of the dead body inside the home after they were done ripping her off.
At least one source questioned how anyone could even enter the home to steal anything. A source familiar with what now was a crime scene said that even veteran law enforcement officers were overwhelmed with the stench of the decomposing body as well as the flies and maggots in the home from the rotting flesh as they collected evidence inside the home.
I know this could happen anywhere, but what kind of a society are we when some one's neighbors can just step over her rotting body to take a television or other personal items they stole from her? Although he was highly criticized by politicians for his comments when he made them after the hit and run of Angel Arce-Torres on Park Street, Chief Daryl Roberts had it right. Roberts had stated at the time that as a City we had lost our "moral compass" and we had a "toxic relationship" with each other.
I would have stronger words for anyone that could treat a neighbor like that, but Chief Roberts evaluation would still apply today.
To learn a litle more about Debra Jurasus-Shriner, click here to read Helen Ubinas's column from August 4, 2011