By Steve Beck, Jim Melwert, Nicole Brewer and Jan Carabeo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police are investigating a double stabbing that left a male and a female in extremely critical condition.
Police said their investigation has been slowed by what is being described as an extreme hoarding situation.
“It’s one of the worst houses I’ve seen,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The stabbing happened at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home in the 5900 block of North 4th Street in the city’s Olney section.
According to investigators, police were called to the scene after neighbors heard screaming and called 911.
When officers arrived, they found a 71-year-old woman with at least 15 stab wounds across various parts of her body. Police say an 18-year-old neighbor hosed down the blood off of the female victim. The teenager’s mother says he was just trying to help.
“He thought that would help her wounds to clean off her blood,” Lisa Water said.
Investigators say they are questioning the teen as a witness.
A 54-year-old male was found in the front doorway of the home. He was stabbed at least two times in his torso.
Both victims were rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center where they were listed in critical condition. The female’s condition was later upgraded to serious.
“I’m hoping and praying that they are okay and can recognize who did it,” neighbor Mirtle Russ said.
The stabbing has startled neighbors and many are left wondering who could have done this. Some, however, say the 71-year-old victim has had trouble in the past.
“She has a lot of mental problems, and as she got older that got worse,” Cheryl Trate said. “She would pick fights with the neighbors.”
It was not immediately known if the double stabbing was the result of a home invasion or some type of domestic situation.
Investigators said a six-inch kitchen knife was found on the front sidewalk.
Chief Small said the stabbing victims were roommates.
Small said the home was an extreme case of hoarding with trash, debris and furniture everywhere throughout the home. Approximately 20 cats were also found at the home.
“It’s a hoarder location. It is filled with stuff and debris and trash and furniture and anything you can name from the third floor to the basement where you have to walk through little trails in order to traverse the mess and the debris,” Small explained.
The double stabbing remains under investigation.
Officers with the Pennsylvania SPCA were at the scene investigating the discovery of 12 cats and providing medical assistance as needed.
“For upper respiratory issues, flea issues, things like that,” PSPCA spokeswoman Sarah Eremus said.
The organization says there were 12 cats on the property. No animal cruelty charges are expected to be filed against the victim.