What is an unattended death?

An unattended death occurs when someone dies, but the body is not immediately discovered.

It may be days, weeks or even months before the body is found and it often happens when there are no immediate family or friends nearby to check on the person and therefore realize they have passed.

An unattended death isn’t something you can prepare for and when it happens it will undoubtedly hit family and friends hard, especially if the loved one was not discovered for some time.

As it can be days, weeks or months before the body is found the decomposition process will have already begun which requires specialized cleaning to be carried out by experienced, certified professionals.


The importance of clean up

Following an unattended death it is important that the area is cleaned and disinfected safely and correctly to ensure that any bacteria that are released from your body, such as E. coli from urine, gases (carbon dioxide, methane or nitrogen) or any other bodily fluids, such as blood, are not spread around and that the area is fully free of harmful bloodborne pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV.

If a person were to come into contact with these they could become infected themselves, becoming ill, contaminated and posing a threat to their own health and livelihood.

A body that has begun to decompose or an area that contains blood and body fluids can become extremely harmful and dangerous to human life, making it essential that all cleaning and disinfecting is carried out by trained, certified professionals.

At Biohelpers we adhere to OSHA regulations, keeping you, our staff and the area in question safe and secure as we prevent cross-contamination by removing all traces of blood, bacteria and other airborne pathogens.

Safely cleaning the site of death is more complex than cleaning your home or business and requires further skills and knowledge that only a trained professional would have.

This includes knowing how to disinfect, deodorize and test for the presence of harmful pathogens and it also requires specialized training, equipment, and qualifications.

Unattended deaths could happen in a number of ways, all of them tragic, it could be as a result of suicide, death from natural causes such as a heart attack or stroke or after a fall or accident in the home.

If you discover a body, irrespective of the causes, you should call us immediately and you should take care not to touch the body or the surrounding area.  It’s not uncommon in situations of unattended death to find clutter, mess, and other items at the scene.

If the deceased had a pet then there is an increased likelihood of the pet moving, knocking or breaking items in the home and there is also a greater risk of finding feces or urine at the site which can potentially be very harmful and dangerous.

If the deceased had a pet then there is an increased likelihood of the pet moving, knocking or breaking items in the home and there is also a greater risk of finding feces or urine at the site.

Depending on the severity of the hoarding compulsion it may be difficult to move from room to room or even gain access through doors, however, you should leave the property as you found it and not touch anything.

When the deceased was a hoarder it can make the cleanup process more challenging, presenting more risks and dangers than a normal unattended death.

Hoarding can pose dangers such as trip hazards or fire risks however it can also lead to gross fifthe, contaminated air, and potential biohazards.

When a decomposing body begins to release bloodborne pathogens, bodily fluids, and strong odors it will become absorbed by the furniture, material s, and items in the property and when these pathogens become airborne, they can become more dangerous to anyone who enters the home.

Biohelpers specialize in safely cleaning, decontaminating and sterilizing the site of an unattended death, including removing airborne pathogens, odors and cleaning gross filth.


The decomposition process begins immediately after death and in the case of an unattended death, where the body may not be found for several days, it is often the smell that alerts people to the home and to the deceased inside.

As the body starts to decompose, gases are released from the body, bodily fluids begin to leak and strong, pungent odors will appear. These odors can seep into the furniture, carpets, wallpaper and other porous materials in the home making it extremely difficult to eradicate the odors, even after the body has been removed and the house has been cleaned and sanitized.

In some cases, the smell will even penetrate household fans or the air ducts in the room.

For this reason, odors are nearly impossible to remove with standard equipment which is why you should call Biohelpers. Our technicians are highly trained, certified odor removal specialists that use the best equipment to remove odors from the home.

Odor Removal Process

To truly remove the smell, odors must be met at the source, and the right technology should be used to ensure the odors are completely gone. That is why our specialized technicians have a proven process for removing odors from the home and bringing the property back to a hospitable state.

  • Using cold fogging technology the technicians will spray the property with a solution that will disinfect all affected areas of the home and remove bacteria from the surrounding area.
  • Biohelper technicians are highly trained biohazard remediation specialists who wear specialized clothing and understand how to clean, remove and dispose of any affected materials safely and in compliance with biohazard waste regulations. Our technicians will safely remove all affected materials in the room.
  • Once the area has been disinfected, cleaned and prepared it’s time to remove the odors. Bacteria aren’t just on the surface, it will also be airborne, and following an unattended death, it has the possibility to become toxic.

    Using specialized equipment and airborne disinfectant devices such as Ozone Machines, Air Scrubbers, and Hydroxyl Generators our technicians will remove all contaminants from the air with a scientific process that involves breaking down the odor molecules and changing the molecular structure, removing the smells and eliminating the odor

  • In some cases, depending on the severity of the situation and the length of time the body had been decomposing, further remediation works are required.

    This may involve removing and disposing of aspects of the property which were affected by the odors such as flooring, carpets or drywall and in some cases, it could even impact the dishwashers or refrigerators due to their insulation absorbing the airborne odors.

    Oil-based sealers may also need to be used to seal in aspects of the property and ensure it is safe and hospitable.


Most commonly associated with hoarders gross filth is the term used when describing a house that hasn’t been cleaned for an extremely long period of time.

The property may be strewn with trash, there may be biohazards such as feces and urine and there may be numerous harmful airborne pathogens present, which pose a threat to the health of anyone that enters the house.

In the case of gross filth, the cleaning requirements go beyond that of a traditional unattended death scene and would require a specialist approach.

Biohelpers are specially trained to clean and decontaminate houses affected by gross filth and all remediation experts are equipped with the latest specially designed equipment to ensure houses affected by gross filth are cleaned and restored for use.

What happens after you call? Our process

Once you have discovered a body you should call Biohelpers immediately, our certified technicians are trained to professionally handle the unattended death of a loved one and with sympathy, care and support we will help you with each step of the process.

On the initial call, we will listen carefully to understand your situation and your needs then we will talk you through how we will assist you and what we will do next.

We may need to visit and meet with you in person, at or near to the site, but this will be handled sensitively and compassionately.teria.

All of this will happen with the utmost urgency as we understand the need for an immediate response to such a delicate situation and once we have ascertained the details we will get to work.

We will begin cleaning, sanitizing and decontaminating the site and we will test for bacteria, blood, and bodily fluids. With our specialist equipment, we will ensure the property is clean, liveable and free of contaminants and we will free the area of any odors or harmful bacteria.

What can you expect?

With over 15 years of experience and a tight-knit, family-orientated focus, you will be met with care, compassion and a conscientious workforce that understands you, your needs and the sensitive nature of dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Our technicians are professional and satisfaction focussed, going above and beyond to meet and surpass your needs to make this traumatic time as stress-free for you as possible.

From beginning to end our goal is to complete the best job possible, leaving you free to be there for your family and concentrate on mourning your loved one.

All of our work is carried out to the highest standard, meeting regulatory compliance and adhering to our core values and everything we do, has you at the heart.

We understand that you have more pressing things to deal with so we handle this for you, clearing, cleaning and decontaminating the property, making it hospitable and liveable again.

Safe and discreet

All of our work is carried out with the utmost respect, care and compassion and we will handle each and every situation safely and discreetly, respecting the privacy and wishes of you and your family.

Unfortunately, when an unattended death occurs, neighbors may have been the ones to discover the body and they may have questions, however, our technicians are trained to go about their work respectfully and considerately and we do so in a way which embodies professionalism and high standards. Keeping your information secure and respecting your privacy.

Recovery of property

One of the most important jobs we do is recovery of the property and treating the place where the deceased came to rest. This could be a chair, a sofa or a bed or it could involve other items of furniture.

In some cases, this may involve removing the affected areas such as flooring or walls and will also include removing odors and contaminants from the air.

In many cases, after an unattended death, the house will be sold or rented out again in the future. We will ensure the house is safe, clean and hospitable, ready for use again when necessary.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

In such difficult times, we understand that dealing with insurance companies can be both difficult and challenging. To reduce your stress levels and give you more peace of mind we will liaise with the insurance companies and ensure they have the relevant information and everything is resolved, allowing you to focus on the important matters of being there for your family and friends.

​100% Guarantee

Once all work has been completed the property will be restored,
cleaned and ready for release and backed by our 100% satisfaction
guarantee. If in the unlikely event you aren’t happy with our work
we will come back out, at no charge to you, and fix the problem to
your satisfaction.

Call Us Now

If you have discovered an unattended death you should call us immediately. We are available 24/7 and have staff on hand, ready to help you with the next steps.

In most cases we can be on-site within 2-4 hours, ready to help.

Call us now to see how we can help you today

Crime Scene Services - (267) 463-2338 - Bio Helpers of Philadelphia

Trenton, NJ, USA

Call us now (215) 282-5173