A Brussels widow slept next to her mummified husband’s corpse for a year, her landlord said after making the macabre discovery during an eviction, a Belgian daily reported Tuesday.
The newspaper, La Derniere Heure (The Final Hour), published striking pictures of a shawl-wrapped, emaciated body with a long white moustache, sunken eye sockets and protruding rib-cage, covered in a film of dried skin.
The newspaper said the images were of a man who had died at the age of 73 after living in the down-at-heel Anderlecht district of the Belgian capital for a dozen years or so with his wife.
According to initial medical tests, he died of natural causes a year ago.
The gruesome find emerged because the rent on their apartment had not been paid since November 2012 and the landlord launched eviction proceedings.
“I have seen dead people before… but never in this condition,” the landlord was quoted as saying by the newspaper, which is known for its coverage of the weird and wonderful.
“The lady slept next to her husband’s body,” he said.
Neighbours told the newspaper a pungent odour had drawn their attention to the address, and that the 69-year-old widow had not taken out the garbage recently.
They said the widow had told locals her husband was away “receiving treatment.”
Brussels prosecutors said they were attempting to “shed light” on the discovery.