Long-Dead Resident Discovered

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Neighbors described Michael Kemmer as a slight recluse, a single man living with his dog and cat on Corral Drive.

But after one of Kemmer's neighbors didn't see him for several weeks, she called the Payson Police Department last week and asked officers to check on the 47-year-old man.

"When officers checked on him, they found that he had been dead for quite a while," Police Det. Steve Johnson said.

Kemmer was found lying in the doorway of his bathroom, the detective said. He was a diabetic with high blood pressure and, from evidence at the scene, detectives think Kemmer died of natural causes.

His cat also was dead, but his cocker spaniel was still alive and guarding his owner when officers arrived.

"He had to be put to sleep," Johnson said. "He was in pretty bad shape."

Kemmer hadn't picked up his mail since the end of June.

"That gives you an indicator right there of how long he'd been dead," the detective said. His utilities were shut off in mid-August.

"It doesn't appear that he had a job," he said. "He might have retired early. We just don't know."

Kemmer's relatives have been notified and funeral arrangements are pending.

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