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The tragic death of Sarah Elizabeth Jay: Horrifying scene as woman found dead after cops notice many flies at window

Jay's daughter Beth told the court that her mother had been self-medicating to treat back pain caused by degenerative disc disease
UPDATED SEP 18, 2022
Representational image (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Representational image (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

WARNING: This article contains graphic imagery and content that some readers may find distressing. Discretion is advised.

LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND: Sarah Elizabeth Jay, 54, was found dead in bed after being "partially eaten" by her pet dogs. Jay, who lived alone with four dogs and one cat, was a "skeleton" when an officer found her decomposing body in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, on April 23, 2022.

According to the Daily Mail, the police officers arrived at the victim’s apartment after receiving a call from a neighbor who said she hadn't seen Jay for two days and added that Jay’s three dogs were jumping up at the window. The officers became alert when they spotted a number of flies at the window of her apartment. PC Andrew Crowe, one of the officers on the scene, said in a statement, "We arrived at 12.15 pm and we saw flies in the ground floor window and a dog jumping up. There was a strong smell of death. I forced entry and PC Rebecca Bell went in first. She turned around and said, 'It's a skeleton.'"


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An inquest at Blackpool Town Hall heard that Jay, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, had "a large amount of morphine" in her system. Dr Mark Sissons, a consultant pathologist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who performed the post-mortem five days after the body was discovered, was unable to determine the cause of death. "The body was badly decomposed and it was evident that part of the body had been eaten by animals," he said. However, assistant coroner Louise Rae found and recorded that morphine toxicity was the cause of death.

Jay's daughter Beth told the court that her mother had been self-medicating to treat back pain caused by degenerative disc disease and had obtained the morphine from her late grandfather who had been prescribed morphine as part of end-of-life care. Recalling the last conversation with her mother, the daughter said, “We last spoke on April 8. She wasn't good, that had been evident from February, she had been accusing me of hacking into her bank account and she thought I was working together with her ex-husband. I tried to seek help for her by calling 111 but they basically told me that as she was an adult she could just refuse help.”

The daughter further described her mother's health issues by saying, “She said she felt that some days she couldn't get out of bed because of her back and that was stressful for her because she was so active and loved walking the dogs. I don't believe she would have taken her own life. She wouldn't have left her dogs and I went in the flat after she died and the dog food was out on the side ready for the next day." "She wasn't a recluse, she was very active and a lot of people loved and cared about her," the daughter added.

Louise Rae said, "[Jay] had been experiencing quite severe pain in her joints. Her pain was severe and would restrict her mobility which was difficult for her as she was an active lady. Her daughter believed she had started taking her grandfather's Oramorph. He had passed away previously and had been prescribed Oramorph in his end-of-life care and after her death, Sarah's daughter found bottles of her grandfather's Oramorph in her bedroom."