LELAND -- What happened to James Gieschen was either a practical joke turned sour, or a disgusting and infuriating example of cruel revenge.
"I came home and smelled an awful smell," Gieschen recalled, "and I looked under the mattress and found a dead opossum covered in maggots."
Gieschen thought he knew who put the dead animal in his bed -- a 17-year-old boy with whom he had been arguing for months.
Gieschen believed the boy sneaked into his home, and put the dead animal under his mattress as revenge.
Although Gieschen said he reported the opossum incident to Leland Police, they did not have enough evidence to press charges.
The offensive smell is gone. But Gieschen and his fiancée now sleep on an air mattress in their home on Bourbon Street in Leland, leaving behind a discarded mattress out back, a terrible stain frmo the opossum, and the memory of a disgusting ordeal.