Body found in storage unit may have been there for 16 years

12:18 AM, Jan 28, 2012   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida - "She wanted to go home," Rebecca Fancher cries as she recalls her grandmother, Ann Bunch.

Law enforcement in Clearwater found Bunch's skeletal remains on Thursday inside a coffin nestled in a storage unit. Turns out the body may have been packed in there for 16 years, since shortly after Bunch died in 1994.

"I feel like I failed her," Fancher says.

Before the discovery of the body, everything in the unit was going to be auctioned off because Fancher's mother, who owned it, couldn't afford to pay for it. The family also couldn't afford to transport the grandmother to her final resting place in Alabama.

"[After she died], she was in a covered trailer parked by the side of the house for two or three weeks," Fancher says.

Fancher says she only found out last year, shortly before her mother died, that her grandmother was never buried.

"My mom was terribly embarrassed about not bring able to do it herself and basically swore me to secrecy," Fancher recalls.

After Fancher's mother died, she was buried in Alabama using what was left in her account. Fancher says there was no money to help transport her grandmother.

"I've been scrapping metal just trying to keep the electric bills paid," Fancher says.

In 2010, law enforcement in Pinellas County deemed the home where Fancher lives uninhabitable. Nearly a dozen cats were seized.

Fancher is not expected to face criminal charges. She's trying to get back on her feet by starting a new job next week, and hopes to earn enough money to give her grandmother a proper burial. 

"I want to be able to do what my grandmother wanted. I want to reunite the family up there," she says.

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