The mummified remains of an Italian woman have been found by police still sitting on the kitchen chair where she died over two years ago.
The mortal remains were found in the district of Prestino in the city of Como in the north-western Italian region of Lombardy.
Marinella Beretta, 70, who hailed from the nearby municipality of Erba, reportedly had no living relatives and had sold her house, but she continued to live there under a usufruct agreement.
The new owner, an unnamed Swiss man, alerted the authorities after neighbours told him that the trees in the garden were in a poor state.
The police went to the property to investigate and discovered the elderly woman’s remains inside.
They are currently investigating the incident to determine the cause of death, but they have reportedly said that the preliminary hypothesis is that she died alone.
It is not clear how her body came to be mummified, but natural mummification, although rare, can happen in situations of extreme cold, aridity or a lack of oxygen.
Elena Bonetti, 47, the Italian Minister for Family and Equal Opportunities, said: “What happened to Mrs Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts consciences. Remembering her life is the duty of a community that wants to stick together.
“We need to not limit our horizons to the private and go back to healing the ties between ourselves. Taking care of each other is the experience of families, institutions, and our citizens: no one should be left alone.”
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