Skeletal remains thought to be two decades old were found lying in a bed by council workers at a boarded-up house in Ireland Friday.
Council staffers were clearing out the derelict property on Beecher Street in Mallow, County Cork, when they made the discovery, the Daily Mail reported.
As they investigated the discovery, police officers found butter dating from 2001 inside the fridge, suggesting that the person may have died around 20 years ago.
Police reportedly cordoned off the one-story house, which is yards away from a pub. The fire service took the decomposed body to Cork University’s hospital morgue.
Police did not suspect foul play, but neighbors thought the man, who they described as reclusive, had relocated to England.
Mallow Cllr Liam Madden told the Irish Mirror, “I find it hard to imagine. But it has happened before in other towns and villages where someone has been found. If they are local, it’s a very sad reflection that someone didn’t miss this person and say where would that person be.”
He added, “The big thing is identification now, it is going to take a long time. In some of these places that are boarded up, people have gone in there to sleep… it could be anyone. It’s very sad that there’s some family out there that could be looking for this person.”
Madden also said that it was “extraordinary” the body could have been undetected for 20 years.
Investigators hope to confirm the identity of the person through the dental records. Officers also reportedly plan to check with utility companies to determine the time of death.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margaret Bolster carried out a postmortem on the remains at CUH Saturday afternoon. She confirmed to police that there was nothing to suggest that the man had been the victim of foul play, the Irish Times reported.
Police are currently investigating “all the circumstances” and have asked anyone with information to contact Mallow Garda Station on 022 31450.