Stockholm man lay dead in flat for two years

Workmen in southern Stockholm found the body of man who may have lain dead in his flat for over two years, with the police blaming the belated discovery on society's broken social networks.

“This is tragic, but there isn’t any social supervision anymore, people don’t care about each other in big apartment blocks,” southern Stockholm police spokesman Claes Björnefelt told the MittI newspaper.

“This man wasn’t missed by anyone. He didn’t have an employer and lived a spartan life.”

MittI reported that the man, who was in his fifties, lived alone in his tidy apartment. The police said he had no close family in Sweden. His landlord did not notice anything out of the ordinary, as his rent was paid by direct debit every month.

But when the property management company Stockholmshem decided to renovate the plumbing in the building, workers ended up making the macabre discovery. Police said the man has likely been dead since 2011, judging from the letters found in the flat.

Björnefält said it was unusual for a dead person to lie so long without being found, although older people without friends had been known to lie dead for a few months before someone found them.

“If we weren’t doing the plumbing in our house, maybe he would have remained there for another ten years,” neighbour Åsa Jarra told MittI.

“One wonders how many dead lonely people are lying around across the city.”

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Stockholm man lay dead in flat for 18 months

Police trying to evict a man from an apartment in central Stockholm were shocked to find his body inside, estimating that the man had died 18 months ago.

Stockholm man lay dead in flat for 18 months

Local police found the man’s body after Sweden’s Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden) asked for help in evicting him from his Kungsholmen flat.

The man’s bills were being paid by direct debit, and none of his friends, relatives or neighbours noticed that he had not left the house over the past year and a half. Police traced unopened mail and food products inside the house to February of last year.

“Society is getting harsher and harsher,” Viktor Adolphson of the Stockholm police told the Nyheter24 news website, adding that the police do not suspect foul play.

“When someone has been lying there for so long it’s impossible for police to determine the cause of death at the scene,” Adolphson added.

While such cases are “highly unusual”, according to the officer, he said that it does raise questions.

“How to people look after their neighbours?” he asked the paper.

“Don’t people notice that they’ve not seen the person next door for 18 months? I’m not being critical, just reflecting on how these things work.”

The case is not the first of its kind in Sweden. In late May, the body of a man in his fifties was found in a south Stockholm flat. It was estimated that he died two years previously.

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