Tragic details emerge of woman, 61, who lay dead in London flat for over two years

16 July 2022, 12:12

Her body was found in the flat on St Mary's Road in Peckham
Her body was found in the flat on St Mary's Road in Peckham. Picture: Google Street View

By Asher McShane

Tragic new details have emerged after the death of a woman whose body was undiscovered for over two years in a flat in London.

An inquest into the death of tragic Sheila Seleoane, 61, will open on Thursday.

The Daily Mail has investigated the circumstances around her tragic death, and there will be an independent report carried out after the inquest, looking into how her death went unnoticed for such a long period of time.

The newspaper reports shockingly that a neighbour claimed footsteps were heard coming from her flat in Peckham, south London, many months after her death.

Two funerals have been held for Ms Seleoane. One at Croydon Crematorium attended by just two mourners, and another, attended by family members, at her homeland in South Africa.

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

Affordable housing charity Peabody arranged for her remains to be flown home to South Africa so she could have a proper funeral attended by 100 or so mourners, including her sister.

Her relatives want answers into her death and how it was possible for her body to remain undiscovered for so long, despite neighbours complaining of a terrible smell coming from the property.

Ms Seleoane died some time around autumn 2019. The Met police say she died of natural causes. Officers broke into the flat in February this year, and the police have confirmed they will not open a criminal investigation.

One neighbour in the block told the Daily Mail that the flat was like a ‘grave’ and everyone on the floor of the flat has reportedly asked to be moved to a different property.

Peabody told residents they plan to refurbish the flat and re-let it but one resident said it should be left ‘permanently empty.’

Peabody has said it promises to learn lessons from the upcoming inquest and report into her death.

After the body was found earlier this year a Met police spokesman said: "At 7.01pm on Friday, 18 February police were called to a flat in St Mary's Road, Peckham.

“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."

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