The decomposed body of a 70-year-old Italian woman was found sitting at her table — more than two years after she died, police said.
Police made the grim discovery after going to Marinella Beretta’s home in Prestino, near Lake Como in northern Italy, Agence France-Presse reported.
They were carrying out a house call to warn Beretta that high winds forecast for the region could potentially uproot neglected trees in her back garden.
Neighbors said they last saw the elderly woman in September 2019 — and assumed she had moved away at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the level of decay, investigators estimated she had been dead for more than two years.
Police said they found nothing at the scene to indicate foul play.
Beretta has no surviving relatives, according to authorities.
“What happened to Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences,” Italy’s minister for families, Elena Bonetti, said after the woman’s mummified remains were found.
“We have a duty, as a community that wants to remain united, to remember her life … no one must be left alone.”
The local council where Beretta lived is planning to cover her funeral and burial costs.