Woman Found Dead in Chair Had Been There Since 2019

Body of 70-year-old Italian woman Marinella Beretta found Friday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2022 11:10 AM CST
Woman Sat Dead in Her Home for 2 Years
Stock photo of a Como-area home.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The residents of Como, Italy, have been invited to the funeral of a woman who died two years ago—and whose body was just discovered. CNN reports the decomposed body of Marinella Beretta was found sitting in a chair in her living room on Friday. The local fire brigade discovered the 70-year-old's remains while looking into complaints about a fallen tree and overgrowth on her property. AFP reports Beretta had no living relatives, and that after not seeing her for some time, neighbors assumed she'd left town as the coronavirus pandemic set in around early 2020.

It's unclear how she died, though ANSA cites a medical examiner as saying she likely had a heart attack. Based on her body's condition, it's thought she died near the end of 2019, and no autopsy has been ordered. The city will pay for the funeral, which has yet to be scheduled. "I will try to be there and I invite the city to be present," Como Mayor Mario Landriscina said, per CNN. "This is the moment to be together, and even if this woman had no relatives, we could become her relatives." AFP notes that almost 40% of Italians over the age of 75 live alone and quotes this line from the Messaggero daily: "The real sadness is not that the others did not notice her death. It is that they did not realize Marinella Beretta was alive." (Read more Italy stories.)

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