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Mystery surrounds death of elderly woman who lay dead in bed for three years

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Police and other officials in Rotterdam are investigating why a 72-year-old woman lay dead in her bedroom for several years with no-one noticing her disappearance.

Elly Leeflang’s body was found on April 28 after she was reported missing in March. She is thought to have been dead for three years.

According to the AD, a friend of Elly’s told neighbours that she was in a clinic elsewhere in the Netherlands because she had lung problems. The man took care of her plants and dealt with her post, but never reported her death.

He himself died in February and, the paper said, one neighbour then discovered that Elly was not in the clinic where she was said to be living and reported her missing.

The AD says little was left of her body when undertakers came to remove it from the first floor flat in the east of Rotterdam at the end of last month.

No-one in the neighbourhood reported strange smells and, officials told the paper, her body may have dried out rather than decomposed, particularly if the room was cool and dry.

The AD says police and housing corporation officials were actually in the home a week before the body was discovered, but were not allowed to carry out a search by the public prosecution department.

The body was found in bed a week later by a sniffer dog.

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