SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A retired school teacher and one-time Santa Ana planning commissioner was found dead in the middle of extreme hoarding conditions at her home, officials said Wednesday.
The body of 72-year-old Rita Corpin was discovered by her gardener around 11 p.m. Tuesday on the porch of her home in the 1400 block of South Rosewood Avenue in Santa Ana.
Authorities said the home and yard were covered in garbage and debris, with some trash piles over 5 feet high. They also found two pit bulls and more than 50 cats, the Associated Press reported.
Corpin, who taught history at a Garden Grove high school, also owned two other residences in the area, both of which were in “pack-rat” conditions.
No animals were found at the woman’s other two homes, but a neighbor at one of those properties said the woman showed up every day to leave cat food in bowls.
“We did go inside each of the three locations looking for cats or dogs in distress…so that we would not leave any animals behind in distress. We located none,” Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports Corpin’s brother, David, said the circumstances of her death should not erase who she was as a person.