The skeleton of an elderly man has been discovered laying in bed still wearing his pyjamas at least 15 years after he died.
Piles of unopened post dating back to 1996 were also found at the seemingly abandoned house in Lille, northern France, giving investigators an early indication of the year the man died.
Police are yet to formally identify the body, but it is believed to be that of the elderly homeowner who lived alone and had no close relatives.
‘The state of the house suggests it was a peaceful death of someone who died in his bed,’ public safety official Didier Perroudon said.
He added that no concerns had been raised about the man’s absence, and told French news agency AFP: ‘He was in his bed, in his pyjamas.'
Mr Perroudon said: ‘There was no mess. The house was locked from the inside. Nothing suggests a criminal act.’
The man’s skeleton was found last Friday after a health and safety inspector was sent to examine the ‘abandoned’ house.
The man’s body has been taken away for an autopsy, with Mr Perroudon adding ‘For the moment, we do not know anymore.”
“The investigation starts. It will take some time to discover where he comes from, what he did and what his connections were.”
Early reports suggest the man who lived at the house was of Spanish origin born and had been born in 1921.