26 June 2014 Last updated at 17:35
Woman dead in Bournemouth flat for six years
A woman has been found dead in her flat in Dorset six years after she died.
The woman, named locally as Anne Leitrim, lived in Tolpuddle Gardens in the Muscliff area of Bournemouth.
A bailiff, estate agent and two locksmiths broke into the ground floor flat on Tuesday and discovered the remains.
Dorset Police said the body was believed to be that of a woman in her seventies but said it was not treating the death as suspicious.
Neighbour John Stanley said: "It's horrifying that, after that amount of time, why hadn't anybody noticed it?
"Because we thought she moved out. She owned a car - the car disappeared - so we automatically thought the lady's moved out and that was it."
Flats in Tolpuddle Gardens Neighbours said they thought Anne Leitrim had moved away
Ruth Evans, who also lives in the street, said: "To be honest, I'm still coming to terms with it.
"I haven't stopped shaking in two days. You feel so guilty that we didn't try knocking on the door or try to get into the flat or report it to somebody but we genuinely thought she had moved away."
Cliff Rich of the Contact the Elderly charity, which supports older people through loneliness and isolation, said the length of time made this case "quite extreme".
"It's a shame this happens. It's quite common for older people to be living somewhere and for people not to see them.
"Bringing some kind of social interaction, however small, into their lives really makes a difference."
EXACTLY.No Fate Worse Than De'Ath wrote:It's hard to understand in cases like this why enquiries weren't made a lot sooner when bills stopped being paid.
Having suffered a wee stroke a few years ago, I now tend to forget things. There has been a few times in the past few years when I forgot to pay my gas, elec or phone bill. But, I can assure you, I am not allowed to forget it for very long!
So I guess she paid by DD or SO, and had enough money in her bank to cover these things.
It would not surprise me to learn her pension was still being paid into her account!
Edit - It is very sad, but from past experience, if she did pay her utility bills by DD, her estate will be due a small fortune!
Sadly, elderly folk can be anonymous, as long as their bills are paid.
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It looks as if there was enough money to pay the bills until 2013. If it's true that she had a mortgage, that seems very unusual for a person in their 70s.
Don't want to think about it too much but, with the windows open, how did nobody ever notice a certain unmistakable fragrance?