• 'House of horrors' property raises neighbors' concerns

    By: Deanna Bettineschi, ActionNewsJax.com

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The man accused of killing a woman whose body was found at his Southside home waived his right to a speedy trial.

    Russell Tillis is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Joni Gunter. Police found her dismembered body on his property, known as a "house of horrors."

    The property has been sold, but neighbors say there are still problems there.

    “We got people that come by just to pick some things for souvenirs because it’s the 'house of horrors,'” David Eichenlaub said.

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    Eichenlaub said neighbors called the mayor’s office and Gov. Rick Scott. On Wednesday, they finally started to see some action taken.

    “We’re just glad it’s getting cleaned up. It needs to be cleaned up,” Eichenlaub said.

    He said the worst part was that people would party in a trailer on the property at night and it smells like chemicals.

    We reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, where a spokesperson said there have been six calls for service to the address since the first of this year, four calls for property checks and two for suspicious people.

    “I have to run them off all the time,” Eichenlaub said.

    We also reached out to the city, which said the current owner was cited by code enforcement on Feb. 8 for garbage and debris on the property.

    The city said since the owner didn’t follow through with the cleanup, the city stepped in to clean it, and the owner is responsible for the cost.

    We called the owner of the property, who said she did hire someone to clean up the property but they didn’t realize just how big a project this was.

    She said she has been in contact with the city and agreed to them cleaning it up.

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