The owners of a rundown building that were unable to renovate it because it still had one tenant were shocked to learn that he had died five years before – and nobody had noticed.
The family of the property in Valladolid, Castilla y Leon, had been unable to rent it because it was badly run down and was due for demolition and rebuilding.
But they still had one tenant inside, the only person in the building, who reportedly they had been waiting for him either to move out or die so that the programme could finally get underway.
The mummified body of 64-year-old Antonio Torralba was discovered by squatters who believe that all six apartments in the building were empty, and broke inside, hoping to settle there.
They then raised the alarm with police, who discovered that the old man, who was the last inhabitant of the building, had probably died some five years before, and his body had been completely mummified.
The owners of the apartment had not wanted to ask him to leave as he paid his rent regularly by bank transfer at the end of every month.
His landlady said that he had moved into this house in 2003, 19 years ago, and she was shocked to find that he had died so ago with nobody noticing.
She said: “He paid the rent every month since then, I had a permanent transfer order in the bank account.”
And she added: “The phone was active, although it was only ever the answering machine.”
She admitted that they had not checked up on him, but never imagined that he had died and that he had died so long ago.
According to the investigations, Torralba was the only inhabitant in the block of six houses for more than a year when the last neighbour moved out.
The apartment in question, about 60 square metres, has a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom.
The building is reportedly now scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt once the police investigation is complete.
Police have been unable to track down any relatives of the dead man, and despite the publicity nobody has enquired about him that knew him.