The mummified body of an 83-year-old woman was found in her flat five years after her death because nobody noticed she’d died until her nephew finally called cops.
Police believe Amanda Jospe, 83, died of natural causes in early 2014 at her home in the Spanish capital city of Madrid.
Bills and letters had been piling up but neighbours thought she had moved away so nobody thought to check on her.
Finally, one of Ms Jospe’s nephews, who lives in Israel, called police to say he was worried as he had not heard from her for such a long time.
Officers went to her flat, in the upmarket Salamanca area of the city, and found the door locked, the blinds closed and no sign of life.
Neighbours said they had not seen Ms Jospe for about five years and the doorman of the building had a huge pile of letters and bills for her.
Police initially suspected the woman had moved away, possibly overseas as she had a second home abroad, but they called a locksmith to be on the safe side.
And when they finally entered Ms Jospe’s home they found her mummified body lying on the kitchen floor.
A post-mortem revealed there were no signs of violence and she most probably died of a stroke in early 2014.
It is believed the damp condition of her home resulted in her body being preserved and meant neighbours did not notice any smell of decomposition to alert them to Ms Jospe’s death.
The local homeowners’ association said they had thought about contacting the police two years ago as they were worried she might have died.
A neighbour said: “She owed almost 3,000 EUR (2,594 GBP) in monthly bills for the community but finally nothing was done and nobody called the police.”
Another resident of the building, who declined to be named, said: “Nobody smelt anything and nobody missed her because it was thought she had gone abroad, where she had another property.”
He added all the blinds had been closed which also made neighbours conclude she had moved away.
“Everything seemed as if she had gone away and that nobody was at the house. We never thought she was dead,” he said.
And another neighbour added: “She was living here for more than 30 years and she was a healthy woman, normal and well mannered, but we always thought she had moved away.”
Apart from two nephews, her only family had been a sister who had died before her. She had a friend locally who had also thought she had moved abroad.