Fort Myers apartment complex bills man $11,000 for cleaning after murder-suicide of mother, brother

Posted at 7:06 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 19:06:36-04

Art Smithwick said that in May, he was devastated when his brother David killed his mother Phyllis in her apartment at the Fountains of Forestwood in Fort Myers. 

"He was staying there to help my mother," Smithwick said. "She was physically disabled; she had quite a few issues."

It was 9 days before their bodies were found. Smithwick said it was almost a month before the apartment management had the unit cleaned.

"Which made the situation worse," he said. "Made it harder to clean, more expensive."

Then Smithwick got a claim in the mail from Forestwood, expecting him to pay over $11,000 for the cleaning costs. He believes the apartment complex should take up the issue with their insurance company.

"I don't have that kind of money to pay," he said. "This was nothing my mother or I did. We didn't do it intentionally. This was a crime."

Fox 4 made several calls to Forestwood for an explanation of the charges, but we are still waiting for a response.

Smithwick wants to give Forestwood's management a chance to back off their claim that he owes them money, but said he will consider legal options  if they don't.

"The fact that they're coming after me for the full amount after this tragic just blows my mind," he said.