The deceased woman's developmentally disabled children "were obeying their mother's wishes" to let her lay undisturbed
Laronda Jolly
Laronda Jolly
| Credit: Facebook

The Davidson County deputy's call to the dispatcher captured the overheard exchange between the officer and the residents he had come to evict from a Nashville, Tennessee, apartment for past-due rent.

"Who is this upstairs?" the deputy asked. "That’s your mother?"

"How long has she been deceased?"


"You don’t know how long she’s been deceased?”

Covered under a pile of clothes on the bed, the body of 56-year-old Laronda Jolly had been decomposing for at least a year, medical examiner Dr. Feng Li later concluded in an autopsy, reports WTVF.

None of the four adult children who lived with her -- all of them intellectually disabled, according to police -- had told anyone she'd died, reports WSMV.

“She was on a bed, they piled clothes on top of her body and they stayed in the apartment with their decaying mother,” said Laronda's brother, Anthony Jolly, reports WKRN. “They knew better, but they were going by what their mother said, they were obeying their mother’s wishes – just let her lay there, no matter what. Don’t call anybody, and that’s what they done.”

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He told WSMV: “For them to stay in that apartment with your own mother’s decaying body, I can’t understand it -- and I guess I never will understand it."

Jolly told the outlet he last knowingly spoke with his sister "well over two years ago."

"I started going down there, and my nieces and nephews would say, ‘Well she’s asleep. You can’t see her right now.' I would say, ‘Well all I want to do is see my sister. If I can just see her face I’ll be fine and I’ll leave you alone,'" he said.

He said he now believes he was intentionally misled by his nieces and nephews -- a 30-year-old woman, two 27-year-old twin boys and a 27-year-old sister -- and that when he called on the phone, the person on the line was impersonating their mother.

“They lied every time," he said. "They would not tell me the truth."

Concerned about his sister's fate, Jolly asked police in August to conduct a welfare check, but police reported back that his sister was not home at the time.

One of Jolly's nieces told him they were "obeying their mother’s wishes to let (her) lay there," he said. "That’s what they told me, but everything else they told me is a lie. So, you know, I’m not sure if I believe that, either.”

No obvious signs of trauma or foul play were revealed in the autopsy, but due to the body's decomposition, an exact cause of death likely may never be known, according to the medical examiner.

Authorities have announced no charges against the adult siblings, whose housing and basic needs are now receiving an assist from a local ministry, reports WKRN.

Jolly said he still hopes to learn what happened to his sister.

"She was a person that once you met her, most people would just fall in love with my sister because she was just that kind of person," he said, according to WSMV. "She could talk to anybody and talk about anything to anybody.”

“If she had a health condition," he told WKRN, "I didn’t know about it."