A woman in Belgium was so devastated by the death of her beloved husband that she failed to report his death to the authorities – and slept next to his badly decomposing body for a year!
Marcel H, who was 79 when he died, became mummified in his bed at the couple’s Brussels apartment. Amazingly, neighbors didn’t detect anything strange, nor did they notice that Marcel was not around.
Suspicions were only aroused when the landlord of the apartment visited the couple, claiming they hadn’t paid any rent since 2012.
Despite the advanced stage of decomposition of the body, no bad odors were detected by neighbors. People are left wondering how the 69-year-old woman, who has not yet been named, slept next to the grisly remains of her husband for so long.
A pathologist at the Forensic Center in Liege, Philippe Boxho, said about the discovery of Marcel in his apartment: “A body can mummify in a dry, warm environment. It takes at least a week to reach such a state. In this case the body had rotten(sic) in the bed and his internal organs had melted and liquefied.”
“This liquid would have spread and the bed would have been swarming with insects as the body rotted, this would have been a real shame. Even though the smell of human decay is quite specific, many people equate that smell to the smell of garbage and once the body has become rotten the smell does decrease significantly.This is not the first time I have made a discovery of this kind, I’ve been faced with two or three other occasions where people have continued to sleep with the corpse of their partner.”
It is not clear at this time whether the grieving wife showed any signs of mental illness, and it may be that this was simply the only way she could deal with her grief.