This seems to happen a lot. There was one where a German woman and her son (both adults) passed away in the US and no one knew for years after the fact. Apparently it was the same deal: bills were paid by electronic withdrawal, etc. Their air conditioning was on the -entire- time, effectively turning them (and a dog) into mummies. The same may have happened in this instance. IIRC, they believed the son had died in his sleep, and his mother had died some time afterwards. Or vice versa. I’ll have to see if I can find a link.
Then there was the guy in Japan recently, living in an apartment complex on which work was discontinued. He was dead for quite some time before anybody ever noticed.
Too lazy to dig out the newspaper article for a cite-a fellow bought a condo in Warminster, PA at Sheriff sale, and found the prior owner underneath 3 years of mail. His car had been towed away when the inspection expired (condo association), and the letter carrier had reported a nasty smell. Police left notes on the door (dead guys don’t read notes), and the family got pissed only after they found out the low price paid by the investor for the condo. Makes you feel all misty about their concern for beloved what’s-his-name. :rolleyes:
When my father had his first heart attack, the restaurant he usually ate at called three days later asking about him. Seems he hadn’t mentioned going for a trip and missing three days without being on a trip was just unnatural.
The moral of this story is: “Go out to eat often and talk to the servers.”
I would imagine that the smell would peak at the point of a few months, then gradually subside as the remains dried out or were consumed by vermin. If the death occurred in a draughty, unheated house in the dead of winter and especially if the person was skinny, it’s possible that the corpse could mostly just dessicate and end up as manjerky.
The elderly man who lived near my Grandfather was found after a week because the lady who sold him his daily newspaper missed him. Don’t know how long it would have been otherwise, as he had no family in the country, no friends in the world (both he and the wife who predeceased him were disagreeable sorts) and was rarely seen outdoors - indeed, he rarely even opened the curtains in his home.
So for all you lonely types who worry about going undiscovered after death in the manner of Bridget Jones, establish a routine now, and make sure you’re so faithful to it that people worry if you don’t stick to it. And let them know where you live!