NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — A North Port woman was found dead in her own septic tank on Tuesday, according to police.
North Port spokesman Josh Taylor told 8 On Your Side that police believe the woman was watering her plants when she fell through the lid.
“It appears where she either a fell into a hole that was created from her septic tank caving in or her weight itself it caved in right as she was standing on it,” Taylor said.
However, it did not appear the woman drowned, according to Taylor.
Authorities said the woman’s family called for a welfare check after not hearing from her, which led to her discovery.
NBC affiliate WBBH reported that the 74-year-old woman was trying to sell her home and got an appraisal before her death. The appraiser informed the woman there was a crack in her tank, according to WBBH’s report.
“Whoever did come out that day said they had a bad septic tank and I feel like if it was that bad they should have known and flagged it off,” a neighbor told WBBH.
A local septic service expert said if the tank was found to have problems, it should have been marked off to point out the problem area. He also said the contents of the tank likely destroyed the concrete from the inside.
“She had told her neighbor she had gotten a pump out, and whoever had pumped it recommended a lid replacement or a tank replacement,” said Martin Guffey of Martin Septic Service, Inc. “I’m not sure what some sort of repair. She felt like maybe the guy was not telling the truth so she didn’t believe it.”
Authorities are still investigating what caused the woman’s death, but they said there does not appear to be foul play.
The Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy.
Residents in the North Port neighborhood say the 74-year-old woman will be dearly missed.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful neighbor,” said Chuck Westenberg.