A Los Angeles resident has recalled the horrific experience of sleeping three feet away from their neighbor’s decomposing body for weeks, saying it gives her “nightmares.”
Reagan Baylee lived in a small studio apartment, around 250 square feet, in the valley, when COVID first hit in 2020.
Baylee, who runs a business, says she spent “24 hours a day” at home during the height of the pandemic, when she began to notice unusual smells, a lot more bugs, and started experiencing bizarre symptoms.
In a clip shared to TikTok, which can be viewed here, she recounted the gruesome tale which has been viewed more than 7 million times.
She said: “It was around the middle of May and I started to call my mom and tell her that I wasn’t really feeling like myself. What I meant by that was that I was having headaches, I wasn’t really sleeping through the night, I was feeling nauseous a lot.
“And honestly we all kind of wrote it off as me just feeling a little lonely and going a little crazy during quarantine, just like everyone else was. It was really unlike me to not be able to sleep through the night, so I thought this was really strange but again I just wrote it off because I just thought I was really sad and depressed.”
Baylee added she noticed a lot more spiders, and although she alerted her manager wrote it off as being due to the hot weather. But things went from bad to worse, as the bugs were now accompanied by a nasty smell, which Baylee says she also flagged to her manager.
“Towards the middle of May I started to complain about a bad smell that I would get whenever there was a heavy breeze, but again it wasn’t anything I could put my finger on. It was just something that I was smelling occasionally. Truthfully my best description of this smell was kind of like a dead fish, so I thought that maybe a bird had caught a fish, which in retrospect is the most stupid thing ever, because there’s no lakes anywhere near me,” she said in retrospect.
She claims that as it was the height of the pandemic her manager was reluctant to send anyone down to check it out, and Baylee began to worry about her neighbors, or feared a dog might have died.
Baylee said: “I had this really bad feeling something was super wrong and the smell was getting really bad every time it was windy, and I was really, really worried.”
Eventually she called her boyfriend to come over, who told her the smell was “horrific.”
“It’s the middle of the pandemic and we had been home 24 hours a day seven days a week, so I think I had kind of gotten used to the smell,” she theorized. And after staying with her, he began experiencing the same symptoms of nausea and disturbed sleep.
Convinced something had befallen her neighbor, she informed her manager she was calling the police to perform a wellness check, which they did. “Turns out he was perfectly fine and everything was okay,” she admitted, saying she was now in her manager’s bad books for “harassing” her neighbors.
But Baylee was convinced something wasn’t quite right, but she says the recent killing of George Floyd had impacted on everyday life in the city, saying there were tanks outside her apartment.
“It was very hectic and honestly me complaining about a smell and some spiders was the last of anyone’s concerns, especially the police,” she explained.
As time went by, Baylee continued trying to convince her manager something wasn’t right, and she says finally the maintenance man came round to check things out.
Within “minutes” of him arriving it seems her worst fears had been confirmed. “He had walked up the stairs and he couldn’t even make it up the stairs without starting to vomit. He ripped off his mask and he said I am going to get the master key someone is dead,” she said.
Baylee continued: “Things went from zero to a hundred really fast… within a few minutes there were eight cops that were all inside my apartment gathering information, and they said they were just going to start busting down doors.
“The logical answer was to start with my neighbor who lived to the left of me because we already talked to the neighbor who lived on the right of me. And this is when the most disgusting, craziest thing happened.”
She says six cops had their guns drawn and shouted “LAPD exit with your hand raised in their air you’ve got 30 seconds. We’re going to start counting down,” before one of them decided to check if the door was unlocked.
Baylee recalled: “So the cop twists the doorknob and he opens it maybe an inch. The amount of bugs that came out of this unit, it looked like 1,000 bugs. Thousands of them, flying out of the unit. They immediately slam the door and the cops call for a ton of backup. The cops started ripping off their masks and multiple of them were throwing up over the side of the railing.”
Baylee had been right to worry about her neighbor, just the wrong one. She added: “Long story short they said this was the worst decomposed body they had ever come across and they see a lot of decomposed bodies. Not going to go too into the specifics of it, especially for the privacy of the person, but let’s just say they were liquified and they’re basically just a skeleton at this point.
“All the symptoms my boyfriend and I were experiencing were simply because of the fumes and toxins releasing from the body and natural gases that were making me extremely sick during pretty much all of quarantine. And that is the story of how I slept three feet away from my dead neighbor.”
Baylee says her neighbor was around 74 years old, and had chatted to him enough times to know he didn’t have anyone checking on him. Numerous people questioned how the manager didn’t notice rent wasn’t being paid, to which Baylee claimed the L.A. County temporary eviction moratorium was the most likely reason it wasn’t a red flag.
She added: “Once the autopsy came back many weeks later they ruled out that it wasn’t COVID, which was nice, but they did say it was a heart attack which I found very sketchy because if he was liquified and truly a skeleton like they said he was, after eight weeks then how did they determine it was a heart attack because I’m assuming his organs would have been eaten at that point.”
Baylee confirms she moved out that very night, after learning about how contaminated her home likely was from the police.
She said: “They said that they had most likely infiltrated my apartment as well, like micro organisms and bugs because I was only sleeping three feet away from his body.
“The only thing separating the body and me, where I slept every night and keep in mind my apartment was 200sq ft was this thin wall so they had said most of wood furniture was already infested with bugs and they highly recommended just throwing away everything that I could.
“I was truly honestly so disgusted that I threw away 99 percent of the things I owned and only kept keepsakes and I moved out that night, left half of my stuff on the side of the road in Los Angeles and never looked back.”
During the weeks spent sleeping so close to his body, Baylee says she experienced “nausea, dizziness, wasn’t sleeping through the night, headaches, light-headed.”
But luckily they all disappeared as soon as she left, adding: “Literally the night I left, when they had found him, immediately all of those symptoms went away and I didn’t have any lasting effects other than just honestly having nightmares at night and not being able to sleep because I was terrified.
“But it was pretty instant, honestly the night that I moved out, everything went away, so it was obviously from all of the gases and toxins being released from his body, which is disgusting.”
Baylee has shared numerous clips on the social media site covering the events, including one simply captioned: “I slept three feet away from my dead neighbor for eight weeks during quarantine.”
The most recent was shared at the end of July, as Baylee sought to answer numerous questions about the episode.
Troubled_kat thought: “I can’t believe the police didn’t recognize the smell right away when they came.”
“I’ve smelt death after a while in summer, it’s a smell you will never forget,” Carlaghcookie16 admitted.
While Thelittletoadstool added: “Omg I can’t imagine. Wishing you the best of luck working through the PTSD from this.”