UK

Woman's Decomposed Body Found After Six Years, Named As Anne Leitrim

27/06/2014 08:55 BST | Updated 27/06/2014 08:59 BST

The badly decomposed body of a woman has been found six years after she died, after a bailiff, estate agent and two locksmiths broke into the ground floor flat

Anne Leitrim, from Bournemouth, is believed to have been in her seventies when she died. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Neighbour John Stanley told the BBC: "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."

The 55-year-old told the Scotsman: “There are cobwebs in the windows and we used to joke there could be a body inside but we had no idea.

“When the bailiffs and locksmiths came to the flat they entered the property through two windows that had been left ajar. The windows were slightly open and they used a coat hanger to get inside.

“The locksmith went in and said ‘I think there’s a body’. It was so decomposed he couldn’t tell.”

Another neighbour, Ruth Evans, added: "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."

The remains were only discovered as bailiffs entered the 1980s-built block to collect debts, breaking in through the windows.