A grieving daughter spent eight months sleeping next to the body of her dead mother in their one-bedroom flat because she could not afford to bury her, it emerged today.
The grim living arrangement only came to light after bailiffs were sent to the property, in Munich, Germany, to recover debts left by the 70-year-old pensioner to find her decomposing corpse on a sofa bed in the flat’s only bedroom.
Most tragically however, her daughter, who had been living on unemployment benefits, was apparently unaware that she would not have been expected to stump up for the funeral in any case, police said.
In Germany, those unable to pay for a relative’s funeral can apply for €3,200 from the state to cover the cost.
The 39-year-old daughter has been sectioned at a psychiatric facility at her own request, police said.
Detectives are now investigating whether she had been fraudulently claiming her mother’s pension while secretly harbouring the cadaver at home.
The pensioner died last July saddling her daughter with large debts. Apparently unable to cope with either the death of her mother or the subsequent burden of debt, she kept it secret from the world.
But as the arrears mounted, a bailiff from the district court was dispatched the one-bedroom flat, in the city’s Moosach district, on Thursday to search for objects of value to settle the bill.
When the woman told them her mother was in fact dead they called the police who forced their way into the apartment and found the body.
While it is still unclear if the woman had been claiming her mother’s pension handouts, investigators said they did not believe that was the reason for her failure to report the death.