POLICE have confirmed that the body found in a ‘mummified state’ within a homemade coffin in an apartment in Duquesa outside Manilva on Spain’s Costa del Sol, is a woman.

The homemade coffin discovered by cleaners on February 18 in the urbanisation of Vistalmar Duquesa Norte, was surrounded by piles of rubbish and wooden slats.

According to sources close to the investigation, police are considering whether the occupant suffered from Diogenes syndrome – a behavioural condition marked by excessive hoarding.

Vistalmar Duquesa Norte
Vistalmar Duquesa Norte urbanisation, Manilva (Image: Flickr)

The investigation is centred on the supposed last tenant of the property where the coffin was found, confirmed to be a German man who left the house around four months ago. 

Neighbours of the urbanisation told the TV programme Cuatro al Dia, that  ‘the man was never seen accompanied’ by anyone else.

“Whenever I’ve seen him I’ve always seen him alone, I’ve never seen a woman,” reported the Italian neighbour who in the next door apartment.

“The neighbours saw him leave. He left the windows and doors open and has never been seen again”, said another witness, although his car is still reported to be in the garage.

According to initial indications, the body was in an advanced state of decomposition and is likely to have been in the house for months.

One neighbour named Carolina, who was interviewed by Cuatro, said she was surprised that ‘despite being there for so many months, there has been no smell’. 

The body was taken to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Malaga for a post-mortem.

Forensic experts will work to determine if the woman died from a natural death or if there are signs of violence, although this will be complicated due to the state of partial mummification in which the body was found. 

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