Woman lay dead in her London flat for nearly three years before her body was found

21 February 2022, 19:20

A 61-year-old woman’s remains were discovered almost three years after her death
A 61-year-old woman’s remains were discovered almost three years after her death. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The body of a woman has been discovered by police almost three years after her death, despite neighbours complaining about a foul odour and infestation of flies in the building.

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The 61-year-old woman’s remains were discovered on Friday after neighbours complained "over 50 times" about a foul stench coming from the flat on St Mary's Road in Peckham.

Residents in the building became concerned for the welfare of the woman, locally named as Sheila Seleoane, after they noticed a pile up of post and began to smell "rotting meat" in 2019.

But according to reports, the housing association and the council refused to investigate during lockdown as it was not classified as an emergency.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police confirmed: "At 7.01pm on Friday, 18 February police were called to a flat in St Mary's Road, Peckham.

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"Concerns had been raised about the welfare of a woman who lived at the address.

"Officers attended and forced entry. The body of a 61-year-old woman who was deceased was found inside. The woman's death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner."

Residents at the block of 20 flats say the had repeatedly reported concerns to both the building landlord and the council but claim their complaints were never looked into.

One neighbour complained about 30 to 50 dead flies and maggots dropping a day from the flat above whilst many others reportedly complained about the "horrific stench" which made residents feel sick causing them to block their door ways with towels.

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Today residents described their anger at being forced to "live amongst this death" adding "people don't care anymore".

The shocking discovered prompted neighbours to question how her death had not been discovered sooner, with some asking why the "thousands of pounds" in unpaid rent and council tax had not been investigated.

Another told MyLondon that maintenance had been carried out in the building including clearing pigeons from above the woman's flat, painting the woman's door, window cleaners attending, and scaffolding being erected outside the flat window.

The resident asked: "How did they not see her? How did they not smell her?"