Woman slept next to her brother's rotting corpse for five years as cops discover skeletal remains following her arrest

Monday, February 19, 2024
 – A woman spent up to five years sleeping next to her brother's rotting corpse in a rat-infested house in Australia.

The woman, aged in her 70s, lived with the corpse in her public housing unit on Russell Street at Newtown in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne.

According to Mail Online, Police made the horrifying discovery after arresting the woman on December 29, 2022 on an unrelated matter.

The report said forensic officers in biohazard suits were forced to wade through floor-to-ceiling rubbish, rats, dead possums, and human faeces to reach the 'skeleton'.

The woman is understood to have slept next to the corpse anywhere between two and five years.

'It was a bloody skeleton they removed, not a body,' neighbour Nicole Stratton told the Geelong Advertiser.

'How can someone be living with a dead body next door for five years and not a single person know about it?

'They've tried to sweep this under the rug. We have been living next to a house of horrors.'

A City of Greater Geelong council staff member is understood to have attempted to engage with the tenant at least once before notifying the DFFH.

The house is a 15-minute walk from the GMHBA stadium, home to Geelong Football Club, and a stone's throw from the busy cosmopolitan hub on Pakington Street.

The man was last seen alive in 2018 by some of the residents living along the street.

The woman was a Department of Families, Fairness and Housing tenant, prompting questions about how the body could lie undiscovered for so long.

Ms Stratton said she thought the accumulation of 'utter filth' may have helped mask the stench of the decomposing body.

'There was always a smell but we just thought it was the piles of rubbish,' she said.

'The blinds were always down and you could see the mould on the back of them.

'The carport was constantly filled with trash. There were rats everywhere, it was honestly disgusting.'

She said a skeleton and 'not a body' was removed from the site with the stench attracting flies.

Ms. Stratton said her eldest daughter refuses to go outside at night as she is still traumatised by the ordeal.

Victoria Police said they attended the property to conduct a welfare check on the man when his corpse was discovered.

A DFFH spokesperson said: 'Several welfare checks had been conducted at the property since 2021 due to growing concerns regarding lack of contact, lack of access, and the poor state of the property.

They added: 'This is a tragic incident.

'We send our sincerest condolences to the man's family and friends.'

The coroner is still investigating the cause of death.

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