Middle-aged woman in France found living with body of dead mother

Police searched ‘reclusive’ 66-year-old daughter’s home to find mother sat in chair ‘in state of advanced decomposition’ upstairs

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The Independent Online

A middle-aged woman in France has been found living with the corpse of her mother, who had been missing and presumed dead for several years.

Police officers in the village of Mael-Carhaix in Brittany discovered the body at the home the two shared on Friday, according to local media.

The mother and 66-year-old daughter had reportedly lived in the village for the whole of the latter’s lifetime, and local mayor Michel Henry told news outlet Ouest-France they were seen as “recluses”.

Police were called to intervene, however, when neighbours complained of rubbish being left in the garden for “years” and after bills had gone unpaid.

The police captain said that when they arrived the woman seemed “confused, delirious and incoherent”. They found further piles of garbage bags inside the home, and upstairs the mother’s corpse was sat in a chair “in a state of advanced decomposition”.

Confirming local reports, deputy prosecutor Patrick Lewden told the AFP news agency that while an autopsy would be carried out to determine more precisely when the mother died, she “had not been seen since 2010”. Born in 1921, she would have been 93 this year.

Mr Henry told Ouest-France it was “an unthinkable tragedy for our time”. The prosecutor said the daughter had been taken to a psychiatric hospital after she was deemed too confused for questioning.