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'Hoarder' buried dead beneath her belongings

A woman described as 'compulsive hoarder' has been found dead, buried beneath her belongings, US media reports.

Billie Jean James had been reported missing four months ago by her husband Bill James who was concerned the 67-year-old woman may have wandered away.

Reportedly, she had recently suffered a stroke that left her disorientated.

In a wide-ranging hunt, authorities used sniffer dogs, helicopters, Facebook and a $11,000 reward to find the missing woman.

Little did Bill James know that he was closer to her then he originally assumed.

The search for Mrs James ended at the couple's own home where she was found lying dead underneath a pile of garbage and household clutter.

According to the Las Vegas Police Department three searches were conducted without any detection of the corpse's scent.

"Dogs did search the entire house," said Officer Bill Cassell, a department spokesman.

"This house was so full of possessions that movement inside of the house was restricted and in some cases very difficult. Visual searching was impossible."

"For our dogs to go through that house and not find something should be indicative of the tremendous environmental challenges they faced".

Bill James, her husband of 40 years, found his wife while cleaning out a back room of their home, sighting her shoes protruding out from the clutter.

Cassell said there were "a lot of ambient odours in the house," including garbage bags full of rotting food, stacks and piles of clothing as well as animal odours that restricted airflow to the sniffer dogs' noses.

Police described a house so rammed with random trinkets, knick-knacks and rubbish that small pathways had been forged through the clutter to allow the couple to move around the house.

The couple had reportedly built a second home on their property to hold all of her belongings.

Mrs James has been described by friends as a compulsive hoarder who was addicted to collecting things from car boot sales and thrift stores.

According to report she called the back room where her body was discovered her "rabbit hole".

A friend of the couple, Sari Connolly was quoted as saying, 'She became this hoarder person and she wouldn't let anyone come in her house,'

'It went out of control.'