Coroner IDs remains found in Kettering home, believes man died in 2007

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified human remains that had been inside an occupied Kettering house for years before being discovered earlier this year.

Coroner Kent Harshbarger’s office told this news outlet Thursday that the remains were those of Nelson Holford, 66, who lived at the residence, and died of hypertensive arteriolar sclerosis, a disease associated with cardiovascular and diabetic issues. There was no evidence of foul play, according to the coroner’s office.

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A coroner’s office official added, “We have not completed the final death certificate yet, but we have an approximate estimate that he (Holford) died on October 1, 2007.”

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Kettering Police Capt. Daniel Gangwer said, “Right now, we don’t have any information at this point that would select foul play,” Gangwer said, adding, “I would say that this case is out of the normal.”

Records from the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office revealed that the property is owned by Denny P. Barry, who purchased it in 1994.

Holford reportedly had stayed with Barry because he needed a place to live.

Barry’s daughter, Danielle Barry and her husband, Stefan Renton, found the skeletal remains on May 31 piled in a blanket in the rear bedroom of the house located in the 3000 block of Prentice Drive. The two called 9-1-1 to report it.

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“My 83-year-old father is extremely sick and is needing to go to the hospital,” Danielle Barry told a dispatcher, saying the doors were locked. “He’s not OK. We opened up a window in the back of his house, and my husband says that he saw what might have been a skeleton in that room.”

The property has since been condemned by the city, and Danielle said her father has been moved to a Beavercreek nursing home to rehab.

“He blames me for the what has happened to him,” she said Thursday in a phone interview. “I am still just at a loss to explain why a dead body was in that house for all of those years. I would just like to go through the house and see everything that is in there. Like I said before, this is like a Netflix documentary.”

Danielle Barry said she does not know her father well, noting she moved to Iowa with her mother at age 8, “and pretty much I have never really talked to him again.”

Recently, “some of his friends had called and said he was not doing well, so me and my husband drove to Kettering from New York to check on him,” she said.

Danielle Barry said she only learned three years ago that her father had another daughter, Lori Barry.

Lori Barry, who lives in Virginia, decided to bring her two daughters on May 31 for a family reunion of sorts in Kettering.

Danielle Barry said they found their estranged father bed-ridden with a tumor growing out of his chest and urine in bottles around his bed.

“There was mold everywhere, and it smelled disgusting,” she said. “There was no food in the house, and the water had been shut off for weeks. He was laying in filth.”

Danielle Barry said her family went to dinner, then came back to check on Barry, and that is when they discovered the remains.

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Kim Ritzert, whom Danielle Barry described as her godmother, explained that he was friendly with many people and would not harm anybody. She noted that Holford had been staying with Denny Barry because he needed a place to stay.

“I have known Denny since 1983,” she said. “He wouldn’t hurt anybody and hasn’t been in trouble for anything. And he did want to be a good father.”

Ritzert said that it is still a mystery to many how a dead body would be in the house for so long.

“Denny didn’t want people coming in the house,” she said, noting that many neighbors had said he had not been seen for weeks.

“He kept everything sealed up on the property and maybe that is why nobody noticed anything,” Ritzert said.

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