Michigan police made a disturbing discovery after neighbors requested a wellness check on a home on New Year’s Eve. The Monroe residents reported that an odd smell was coming from one of their neighbors’ homes; they also found it suspicious that an upstairs window had been left open for weeks, despite freezing temperatures. The landlord of the house called law enforcement to investigate.

Upon searching the home on East Noble Avenue, just south of Detroit, police quickly found the source of the smell: the deceased body of David Hall’s girlfriend, Kandace Simmons. The couple had been renting the house together. Police were finally able to track down Hall, 49, and arrested him during a traffic stop last Wednesday. He is in jail on a bond of $50,000 for his crimes in “concealing the death of an individual.” Hall was also wanted for a warrant involving a domestic violence charge with his now-deceased girlfriend.

The most disturbing part of the story is that Hall was still residing in the house during the time that Simmons’ body was decomposing, which investigators suspect was for about a month. The horrible scent is what prompted Hall to leave the windows open, sharing the smell with other neighbors. He also tried to cover up the scent with candles, which apparently were not potent enough to mask the “morbid” stench.

Despite the previous domestic violence charges and Hall’s strange behavior in hiding the death, police report that it is unlikely that it was a homicide. So far, no sign of a struggle was discovered in the home or on Simmons’ body. Fifty-six-year-old Simmons had reportedly been in ill health, the initial autopsy suggesting a natural death occurred at the beginning of December.

The autopsy investigation is still pending, and Hall’s lawyer has not commented on the arrest. Hall has a court date on January 18 at the Monroe County District Court, with a preliminary exam on January 23. Detective Bryan Gee is working the case to determine a motive for hiding a body if it was a death by natural causes and how it went undetected for so long.

It is unclear why Hall did not report the death to authorities, though likely out of fear that he would be blamed for it, Gee suspected, especially when he was already wanted for similar charges. Still, he obstructed justice and prevented Simmons’ family from giving her a timely burial. When asked why he hid the body, police Lieutenant J.D. Wall reported that Hall was unable to produce a legitimate reason, other than “he panicked.”

Neighbors had been suspicious for some time; however, they did not expect to learn that there was a corpse decomposing so near to their homes. They told investigating officers that Simmons and Hall, who had been together for over ten years, generally “kept to themselves,” which explains why no one noticed that Simmons was unaccounted for during the entire month of December.

Still, the unwillingness to report the death may suggest that Hall had a guilty conscience about the crime, or possibly another. Perhaps his actions leading to domestic violence charges began to weigh on him upon fully realizing that Simmons was gone. A concerned neighbor, Katrina Baker, expressed her suspicions about Hall keeping the “morbid secret,” saying that although a death from a medical condition is possible, “it seems kind of funny that he didn’t say anything.”

Another possibility is that Hall did not know how to process his long-term girlfriend’s death, and was delaying reporting it to figure out a plan. Normally, one would think to call authorities immediately, especially to rule out being a suspect. However, given Hall’s reputation with law enforcement, it is understandable why he did not feel comfortable calling the police. The hesitation to do so will prove to be a grave mistake on Hall’s part, though, as he could face a prison sentence up to five years for the felony charge.

It is unfortunate the Kandace Simmons’ body was not given respectful treatment upon her death, and that it took an unpleasant smell for it to be discovered. Her family and neighbors can only hope that Hall’s actions were done out of fear or grief, and did not play a role in her death. Thankfully, it appears this is not the case. However, Hall will continue to face the reality of his girlfriend’s death as he mourns her loss in prison.