Neighbors speak out on infested house

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News 12 at 11, March 11, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- News 12 found a note posted on the door for Buel and Jeanne Peterson. They are in jail now on murder charges, but it's a notice for them to show up in court. It seems their family members have been fixing up the house, which they aren't supposed to do. Neighbors hope maybe now, the house will come down.

Dorothy King lives right across the street from the Peterson house. She's noticed some people at the house working to clean up the mess.

"They cut down all the shrubbery and they left it and that can also bring them roaches that I don't like," Dorothy King said.

It worried Dorothy knowing all those roaches were so close to her home. And she's been busy trying to keep them away.

"I used to be out here at midnight looking to see if they coming across the street, sweeping, putting Clorox, anything that I can do to prevent them from coming over to my house," King said.

And she isn't the only person in the neighborhood who had to live close to the filth. Ilse Reeder lives next door and said the smell has been here for years.

"It's just not right to have such a stench next door," Ilse Reeder said.

Ilse said she even saw rats at the house, and said something needs to be done.

"Relatives came and cleaned up. Gutted the inside and tried to clean up the yard although their not finished, they left a lot of debris," Reeder said.

Neighbors said at least it helped with the smell.

"Only when I would come out and mow my yard I would cover my nose but that's gone because all the animals are gone," Reeder said.

And although the house is gutted and the windows are gone. Neighbors said they just want to get rid of the home, and all the bad memories with it.

"Fix it up, tear it down, clean it up, do something. But it's bad for the neighborhood," King said.

A Cease and Desist order is posted on the front door, ordering the family to stop fixing up the house. Inspector Shawn Rhodes said no one had a permit to renovate or strip the house. Buel and Jeanne Peterson have been summoned to appear in the Magistrate Court this Monday at 2:00.

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