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Elderly man lay dead for over three years

TT/The Local/pvs · 26 Mar 2011, 13:06

Published: 26 Mar 2011 13:06 GMT+01:00

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The man, who is reported by the Aftonbladet daily to have been born in 1928, was found when a broadband technician turned up to complete an installation in the building and found the apartment door unlocked.

"Two men went into the apartment and found the man dead. They called me and we discovered that we had lain there a while," project leader Thomas Martinsson told the newspaper.

"It is very tragic," Åsa Johannesson at Flemingsberg police said.

Exactly when the man died can not be established for certain but police found unopened mail from late 2007 and the food in the fridge was dated early 2008.

Furthermore the man's advanced state of decay indicated that he had been dead for around three years.

The man's pension had continued to be deposited to his account and his bills had been paid by direct debit throughout the time he lay dead in his apartment.

The man is reported to have relatives and police are trying to get in touch with his next of kin, a son.

Story continues below…

"He lived alone but there are relatives. But they obviously had no contact," Åsa Johannesson said.

The police have confirmed that there is no suspicion of any crime having been committed.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:45 March 26, 2011 by StockholmSam
Sounds to me as though there are some family secrets being held.
14:09 March 26, 2011 by unforgiven
Welcome to Sweden!
14:18 March 26, 2011 by AirForceGuy
A sad comment on his living conditions. No one to even drop by and vist him...ever...for 3 years! Neighbors? Friends? Family? Nowhere?
14:31 March 26, 2011 by scandinavian leather
His door was open for three years? Stockholm Sam is right on the money.
15:12 March 26, 2011 by Nemesis
Great relatives and family.
15:13 March 26, 2011 by Strongbow
No crime committed? The man hasn't done his taxes for three years!!!
15:27 March 26, 2011 by reason
As long as he pays his bills, let him stay.
15:56 March 26, 2011 by darky
This is very shameful but pathetic. It often ends up this way when we live solitary lives.
16:18 March 26, 2011 by jazzIIIlove
this is sweden.

cold, dark and alone.

at least so called summer is coming.
16:36 March 26, 2011 by mojofat
People will do anything to keep an apartment here, I swear.
17:34 March 26, 2011 by dockmandock
Some people become estranged from their parents in countries all over the world.

My parents' next door neighbour in the UK for example wants nothing to do with her children - various family arguments. It's not so uncommon.

This could happen anywhere.

As for the unlocked apartment - not strange in a secure apartment block that no-one would try the door.

Sad but true.
17:46 March 26, 2011 by scandinavian leather

It wasn't an unlocked door. It was open. How do you think the broadband techs got in?

Shame on his fellow tenants. I guess their noses didn't pick up the aroma.
17:51 March 26, 2011 by maxbrando
I really love this article!! A technician returns to "complete an installation" - after three years!! Hoo Haw!!!! But then again, no one complained about his slow service!
18:57 March 26, 2011 by Kr0n
In Japan, thousands of elderly people who died, were never reported to the authorities. The bodies had been hidden by relatives for tens of years... And guess why? The pension was arriving every month and relatives were cashing it out, collecting hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars fraudulently. Could the same happen in Sweden?!
19:27 March 26, 2011 by darrenj
the fact that all payments came in and bill were payed out in such a manner is amazing. I am grateful for living in such an extremely modern society!!
20:17 March 26, 2011 by truthworthy
Such a shame. he had son but he never took care of him. imagine if he had done the same thing to him when he was a baby. I recommend Sweden to introduce laws that make obligatory for children to take care of their elderly parents just like their children.
21:34 March 26, 2011 by philster61
How unsurprising. Swedish people really show how much they don't care about their fellow neighbors. Probably the loneliest people in the world are Swedes...
21:38 March 26, 2011 by avatar
what a wonderful son
00:13 March 27, 2011 by Deodar
dont worry it can be repeated with every one very near future.............
00:26 March 27, 2011 by ashiquemgt
Very sad life...every child should take care of their elderly parents...they should not forget it can be in their life too...
01:35 March 27, 2011 by Twiceshy
I wish this could happen to my dad..... he is a jerk!
03:27 March 27, 2011 by jerkyjerk
this reminds of few words said by somebody, where there is no money, there is love. its pathetic that Sweden boasts so many technology innovations. Its time for them to think and innovate in human relationships as well. May its the problem with Swedish society that it pampers the people with so much money, and people are too busy in spending and enjoying the life. not even bothered about a neighbor lying dead in the flat with door opened for 3 years. I wish those neighbors also die the same death.
07:40 March 27, 2011 by dr.makni49
Most cruel treatment, the deceased received ever perhaps. Even animals are not so lonely while dying but they are better off. They only need fodder and have no lust for ephemeral life style.

He seems to have a son. Would some one really call him a son who did not check on old father for years?

09:28 March 27, 2011 by Maggie Malay
My feeling (underlined by reports like this one) is that there just isn't the same 'community spirit' here in Sweden as I knew in the UK, and certainly Singapore - where I was born (obviously this sounds like a generalisation and there are exceptions) I believe there is less chance of someone becoming ill or perishing, in this way, in the UK, without a neighbour alerting the authorities, earlier on
09:43 March 27, 2011 by krattan
We don't know anything about this man or his family to poke in and have opinions that they should have done it that way or the other. Maybe they had had a grudge for years and were only glad to not hear from each other. Maybe he beat his children when they grew up. We don't know, so we should not judge.

You certainly doesn't have to stand people who cannot behave just because they are family. That's something that you can choose not to do in Sweden. I must say that I'm proud to live in a society which seriously respects peoples right to privacy.
10:07 March 27, 2011 by BobBob
Are we sure he's dead - or is he just another cold Swede?

One thing's for sure, his absent 'caring' relatives will certainly be around when the old man's will his read.
10:12 March 27, 2011 by Rizwan Rahim
guys, blaming the technician,his son,family,neighbours,friends,relatives is secondary.....PRIMARY is "Have you been in contact with your beloved ones" if not "do pray before you pray for others".......

may he rest in peace..
10:19 March 27, 2011 by rise
@ krattan

I agree! You certainly don't have to be near an evil son of a [censored] just because he/she is supposed to be a parent. Not when you've grown up. As an adult you can choose. Children that are abused in some way cannot! As grown ups they can be free.

In this article however we don't know anything.
10:19 March 27, 2011 by senlac
this is not actually all that rare in the UK!
11:06 March 27, 2011 by Nilspet
Comment #16 makes sense :)
13:32 March 27, 2011 by Arturio
Probably had been embalmed by his grandchildren that every month led him to take his pension. In this period of crisis and high unemployment these facts are common.
15:09 March 27, 2011 by Strongbow
In USA visiting your neighbor is called trespassing and you are greeted with a shotgun. Oh did I just generalize?
15:32 March 27, 2011 by Bringer
This is at least the second time I've read something like this in the one year I've been living in Sweden. How weird.
15:50 March 27, 2011 by Ad Clerum
"One thing's for sure, his absent 'caring' relatives will certainly be around when the old man's will his read."

-Nah, i believe it is quite unusual for swedes to make an will. (It is all regulated in the law how much and how you inherit your parents) The probable thing that will happen in this case is that the bank will make an automated transaction to the relatives and and a fully automated letter will be sent from the police department to the relatives informing them that their parent is dead.

(Is'nt socialism great?)
16:19 March 27, 2011 by Boyfriend
Everyday I check Thelocal.se to read an happy news, but every time I read TL publishes disturbing news, either about cartoonists, Jews, Muslims mostly sad news which ruins my days.

As the local user , I would like to read some happy news , Can you guys publish some funny news and something to make us enjoy :)

Now about this poor man who was dead for three years and nobody knew it.

The Problem is western culture and its government and being far from religion and its teachings!

In schools children are being taught to report their parents , some parents to say maybe 1% could be mean to their children.

these sorts of teachings comes from an atheist or secular states , result is there would be no love left at all and family values and any relationship value would be gone and every person would only try to live for themselves and no body would give charity to please his Lord for helping others.

The schools needs to review their teaching methods toward parents.
01:24 March 28, 2011 by soultraveler3
Strongbow, you're right, some of them have guns and you have a right to protect yourself and property in the states but at least the neighbors know your name and give a damn. ;)
07:04 March 28, 2011 by Da Goat
he was probably murdered just like the english is by the local today.

the mind picture of the techs lying there for a while tickles me somewhat!

"They called me and we discovered that we had lain there a while,"

maybe it was someone living there coz they could not get a flat of their own.
08:04 March 28, 2011 by wabasha
most peoples apartment rent or monthly fees change from year to year. so who adjusted his direct deposit at least a couple times?
12:19 March 28, 2011 by Karl Johan
He was just out of society system and human relationship. Because he got pension so he was not on the list, not got help by social worker. That was a gap in the law and family. There are always mistakes in human social law
13:34 March 28, 2011 by LeoKinmann

if you agree to use direct deposit, the so-called autogiro with a company, then you basically agree the automatic adjustment as well. The agreement involving direct deposit is about the transaction as a whole, and not limited to a certain number.

Anyway, sad news indeed. How ignorant the society has become.
23:45 March 28, 2011 by wenddiver
Circumstantial evidence, President Obama hasn't done anything for three years and he's not dead. Maybe this man is like him.
13:51 March 29, 2011 by cogito
No. When Obama does nothing they call it called "professorial."
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