After the discovery of two skeletal remains hidden in overgrown weeds at the old Mall of Memphis, neighbors want to know who's working to curb urban decay around the city.
Without a building on site, code enforcement for the old mall falls under the Health Department. They have no complaints on file for overgrown grass, but that doesn't mean the site is without problems. It appears someone cut their way through the fence to gain access to the property and on the land, some of the weeds stand more than five feet tall.
Neighbors like Hank White are not surprised by last week's discovery on South Perkins and Showcase. "I try to stay in at night and don't get out too early in the morning," he said. He says crime comes with the territory. "I'd rather limit my life than gamble my life."
The crime scene falls inside City Councilman Scott McCormick's district. "We're constantly issuing citations for people to clean up their property and we'll even go out and cut their property if they don't follow the citation," McCormick said.
Memphis charges property owners if the city has to send out a crew to clean up blight.
This week city leaders are having their first meeting to keep sites like this from becoming a dumping ground. "We're involved in an economic development plan that we're working on that would be citywide to encourage more growth within the city that should resolve some of these problems of blight," McCormick explained.
White hopes for change. "I hope somebody does something about it, but it's been going on for quite a while," he said.