Volusia County deputies said they are investigating the deaths of an elderly DeBary couple whose bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition inside their own home Thursday afternoon.
Temperatures have been hot and humid in Volusia County over the last several days, and detectives said it was even hotter — around 92 degrees — inside the couple's home when they arrived around 1:30 p.m. at the home on Jasmine Drive, in the Lake Marie Estates neighborhood
The couple was identified Friday as Richard, 81, and Lenora Powers, 72. Investigators said more tests were needed to figure out the cause of death.
Deputies said the Powers' daughter, who lives in Fort Myers, had asked family friend Gary Bartlett to check on her parents after she had tried to call them, but no one answered.
Bartlett said he beat on the door and knocked on the windows, but received no response. He also said he smelled a foul odor he will not soon forget.
"I don't know if you've ever smelled death before, but once you smell it, you never forget," Bartlett said.
Bartlett flagged down firefighters who were in the neighborhood on an unrelated call. The firefighters forced their way in and found the couple dead.
Bartlett said he has known the couple for 40 years, and their daughter told him her parents had problems with their air conditioning, which deputies confirmed was not working.
Detectives said there were no signs of foul play, and a medical examiner arrived to took custody of the bodies.