Afraid of dying alone? These 12 bodies were only found years after their actual deaths
What is our biggest fear? Death. It's not so much the fact that death is always looming, coming ever closer as each year passes, but also that in some corner of our mind we fear that we'll die alone. That we'll have no one by our side when our times comes. It might seem illogical, especially since we really don't take anything along with us when we pass, but it provides some level of comfort knowing there'll be loved ones nearby. The people we're about to talk about had no such comfort. In fact, their situation was so bad, it'll make you wonder how something of the sort can ever possibly take place. How is it that no one figured out these 12 people had died until years later?
#10 The police found the bodies of a woman and her daughter; the mother had not been seen for over 30 years
Pauline and Caroline Bessette were both found dead by police after they'd come to inspect their home following fears that it was about to collapse. According to neighbors, the mother, Pauline, had become a recluse following her husband's death. The daughter had not been seen in over six months either, with neighbors alarmed after flies began swarming the home in July 2013.
According to reports, the police believe that they had died sometime in the past month. Though they were unable to find any clues to how the daughter had died, they ruled out any foul play.
#9 The mummy of an author is found in her home, over a year after her death
The body of 70-year-old Barbara Salinas-Norman, a Chicana author, activist, and teacher, was found in her Santa Fe, New Mexico home over a year after her actual death. Once a prominent children's author who wrote stories designed to help Mexican-American children identify with their culture, she had apparently fallen into some financial problems in recent years.
Her body was discovered by her brother-in-law, Louis Ponce, who had visited the home determined to “find her no matter what” because it had been over two years since he had last heard from her. A preliminary autopsy revealed that she had died from natural causes.
#8 The man whose body wasn't found for two whole years
The skeletonized remains of Brighton man Simon Allen was found two years after he'd actually died. Supposedly a loner, his body was found lying behind his armchair in the living room of his flat in November 2012 with just a pair of socks on.
A few days earlier his landlord and some bailiffs had gone to the property to investigate as to why the rent had not been paid for several months. Though neighbors said they whiffed a musty smell coming from the apartment, they didn't think too much of it. Police say that he passed away in December 2010, when he was around 50-years-old and that there wasn't anything fishy around the circumstances surrounding his death.
#7 London can be a very lonely place
This particular case is very curious. Joyce Carol Vincent was an acquaintance of many influential members of London's 1980s and 1990s pop music scene, but her dead body would only be found three whole years after she had actually passed away.
Officials from a north London housing association visited her apartment in Wood Green to repossess it but found a lot more than they bargained for. Joyce's skeleton was found and in one corner of the room, the TV was still on. There were even unopened Christmas presents that lay strewn across the floor. Due to the considerable decomposition of the body, the only means by which identification of the corpse could be achieved was through a comparison of her records with a holiday photograph of her where she is seen smiling. Police believe she died of natural causes.
#6 The tale of a lonely Florida woman
In August 2013, the body of 68-year-old Florida woman Geneva Chambers was found in her home by a landscaper; supposedly three years after she had actually passed away. Neighbors say she preferred a life of solitude, which might explain why no friends or family had asked for her in the years past.
According to documents from the court, the house was ordered to be foreclosed in 2009, with all utilities such as water and electricity completely shut off by June 2010. Mail that dated to more than a year back was found as well, with Chambers' last known human contact happening during a pawn transaction in April 2010. Police ruled out any aspect of foul play, meaning she most likely passed away from natural causes.
#5 Man found dead four whole years after his suicide
Let's be honest, real estate agents are often ruthless. But that still doesn't mean that you don't feel bad for one particular Milwaukee agent who entered a foreclosed house only to find the body of its dead owner. The body belonged to one David Carter and was described by authorities to be in a 'nearly skeletonized' state after remaining undisturbed for nearly four years.
Carter was described by friends and previous co-workers as 'smart and generous' and apparently told them he was quitting his job as a nuisance control officer for the city to move to New Mexico. He must have had issues that they didn't know about because he was found to have shot himself in the head; according to authorities, on his birthday as well. Grim.
#4 The German man who was found dead in his bed seven years later
In 2007, police in the German town of Essen discovered the body of a deceased man in his bed. They inferred that he had passed around the turn of the millennium when he was 59-years-old, meaning they'd found his body around seven whole years after he actually died. He was supposedly single and unemployed when he died and had no close relatives because the local police said that no missing person report had ever been filed.
In his apartment was a letter from the Welfare Office that had arrived the day he died – 30 November 2000 – with the police also finding a pack of cigarettes, a television guide, and some Deutschmark coins next to his body.
#3 The Australian woman who lay dead for eight years
When Natalie Wood, a recluse, passed away no one really bothered calling the police. No neighbor or family member noticed that she had gone missing. The government didn't notice either and simply kept paying her welfare benefits into her bank account; even though the account remained untouched.
Supposedly having passed away in 2003, New South Wales police only discovered her skeletal remains on the floor of her Sydney home in 2011. They were tipped off by her sister-in-law, her only living relative, who called in to report that she had not heard from the woman for a long time. It took so long because the two apparently had a fight in 2003 and were not on speaking terms. Police say Wood must have died from natural causes.
#2 The man who was found dead 15 years later; still in bed, wearing his pajamas
In 2012, French police discovered the skeleton of a man still wearing his pajamas who had supposedly died over 15 years ago. According to the police, the man, who was the owner of the abandoned property, had lived alone and appeared to have no relatives. In the house, they also found unopened posts that dated back to around 1986.
The most they managed to figure out was that the man was of Spanish origin and was born in 1921, with an autopsy expected to reveal more details.
#1 This Croatian woman's dead body was found 42 years after her death
Imagine being so removed from your family that no one figured you were dead for the entirety of 42 years. Hedviga Golik was 42-years-old in 1966 when she was last seen by her neighbors, who simply assumed she had moved out of her home in Zagreb. 42-years later in 2008, authorities needed to establish the owner of the home. Police and bailiffs broke into the home, only to find the body of Golik in the exact same position that she'd supposedly died in: sitting in her favorite armchair in front of the black and white TV with a cup of tea.
Authorities described the experience as stepping into a place frozen in time, with none of Hedviga's belongings disturbed for decades. It had taken so long to find her body because, despite numerous petitions by tenants that noticed the house hadn't been touched since the 1970s, nobody really responded.
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