Police Investigate Mummified Body Found in a Hoarder's Home

In May 2018, police in Australia found a corpse in the home of a hoarder who died the year before.

Published Jun 1, 2018

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Cleaners near Sydney, Australia made an unexpected and gruesome discovery on 29 May 2018 as they began to clean out the property of its late owner Bruce Roberts.

Roberts, who died in July 2017, was described by neighbors as a "loner" and a "recluse." As his vacant property was cleared out, cleaners uncovered an unidentified corpse rolled up in a carpet.

On 31 May 2018, local media reported:

Police said the body found this week had been at the home for a "considerable time" and are treating the death as suspicious.

Forensic officers have been sifting through mountains of rubbish as they work to determine the cause of death.

The occupant of the house, Bruce Roberts, died last year, but police believe he may have hidden the body before his death.

On 31 May 2018, New South Wales Police published a post to Facebook confirming the investigation:

A day later, the same source reported that a "badly decomposed body was found in the property's living room." Adding that the identity of the victim was confirmed pending family notification, the outlet reported that a post-mortem examination revealed evidence of injuries:

A man, whose mummified body was found in a hoarder's house on Sydney's lower North Shore, sustained several injuries before his death, police have said.

A post mortem was conducted on the body, which cleaners discovered under a pile of rubbish at the Greenwich property on [29 May 2018].

On [1 June 2018], New South Wales Police revealed the body was of a male, aged in his 30s or 40s ... Police are treating the death as suspicious but are yet to formally determine the cause of death.

Police believe the unidentified person's death took place before July 2017 (before Roberts died.) Although a cause of death has not been disclosed, authorities said that circumstances under which he died were "unnatural" and "very suspicious."


Reddie, Mark.   "'Hoarder' May Have Hidden Mummified Body In His Home, Police Say."   31 May 2018.

Reddie, Mark.   "Mummified Body Found In Greenwich Home Shows Evidence Of Significant Injuries."   1 June 2018.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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