Homicide police in Sydney say the discovery of a mummified body under a pile of debris in the living room of a dead hoarder’s home is “very suspicious”.
On Tuesday, cleaners sent to clear out a property in the affluent northern Sydney suburb of Greenwich discovered a decomposing body.
Police described the remains as “mummified”, and are treating the discovery as suspicious.
The acting superintendent Simon Jones told reporters in Sydney on Friday that a preliminary postmortem revealed the body belonged to a man in his 30s or 40s.
He said it showed “a number of injuries” and while the cause of death is not yet known, it was “unnatural” and “very suspicious”.
The owner of the home, identified as Bruce Roberts, has been described as a loner and hoarder. He died at the ramshackle property in July last year and his death is not considered suspicious.
But police said they could not rule out his knowing the body was in his home or his involvement in the death.
They said on Thursday the body had been in the house for a “considerable” amount of time and was decomposed. The property was being cleaned up to deal with Roberts’ will.
Detectives and a dog squad remained at the house on Friday and many items have been seized – including clothing from the body.
Gayle Meagher, a long-time neighbour, recalled exchanging pleasantries with Roberts.
“He was a bit of a recluse,” she told the ABC on Thursday.
“We would exchange Christmas cards and we’d always say hi ... sometimes he’d respond and other times he wouldn’t.”