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I-Team: State Police Cadaver Dogs Search For Source Of Mysterious Saugus Fly Infestation

CBS Boston logo CBS Boston 7/30/2021 Syndicated Local – CBS Boston

SAUGUS (CBS) – State Police detectives and cadaver dogs searched Pemberly Drive and Fiske Brook in Saugus Friday. “They said they were looking for dead people,” resident Annette Cafarella told WBZ. “It was kind of scary for us.”

Her neighbor, Mary Dalrymple, is also concerned. “Nervous that they could find a dead body in the brook,” she said.

The town called in the specialized dogs after an I-Team report raised questions about a mysterious fly infestation in homes that back up to the brook and conservation land.

The I-Team brought in an entomologist, Bentley University professor Tony Kiznewski, who identified the flies as phorid flies or corpse flies. He says they are generally found around rotting dead animals and humans.

Just last week the town officials posted a video and said they were hiring Professor Kiznewski, who called the bug issue, “a huge infestation.” Health director John Fralick says they will be looking for rotting animal carcasses or human corpses.

So far police found no evidence of animal or human remains. Homeowners say the DPW cut back some of the vegetation at the brook and scoped the storm drains and sewer lines with cameras looking for a possible source of the infestation. In the meantime, professor Kiznewski is continuing his investigation.

He is asking residents to cover drains with plastic plates and tells the I-Team at this point it is a process of elimination. “We’re looking for clues kind of a detective story. So far, I don’t have the slightest idea where it’s coming from,” Kiznewski said.

Desperate residents say they complained to the town about the flies for months – and the town did nothing until the I-Team got involved. Mary Dalrymple says she is concerned about the possible health risks, “one of us is going to get sick.”

Annette Cafarella just wants to get to the bottom of it. “It was getting worse and worse until I called you and asked you to come. Nothing was being done,” she said. “Now everybody has to get involved and they see it’s a health problem.”

Residents say they want the town to spray insecticide in the neighborhood. WBZ made repeated requests for an on camera interview with the town manager about possible next steps, but he did not respond.

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