Medical secretary, 61, who lay dead for two YEARS was finally found after neighbours complained of vile stench | The Sun

A WOMAN lay dead in her flat for two years until her skeletal remains were finally discovered after neighbours noticed a smell, an inquest heard.

Shelia Seleoane, 61, was found lying on her side with her remains partially covered by her faded blue pyjama bottoms and a white top.

The medical security was identified by her dental records and police found no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, Mail Online reports.

An inquest was told Sheila's body was discovered in February 2022 after neighbours noticed a foul smell coming from her flat in Peckham, South East London.

Medics found she likely died in August 2019 but her body was so decomposed, a cause of death could not be determined.

The hearing was told Sheila had visited her GP in the months before her death complaining about feeling "wheezy".

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Sheila's last rent payment to Peabody Housing was in August 2019 and attempts by the team to contact her failed.

After she fell into arrears, the money was instead paid directly from her Universal Credit payments despite no one having contact with Sheila.

Staff last saw Sheila in April 2019 when she let them into her third floor flat for a routine gas inspection, it was said.

But in June 2020, officials tried to gain entry to her home for another inspection but no one responded.

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This meant Sheila's gas supply was switched off and no further attempts were made to contact her despite the office receiving three reports expressing concern for her welfare.

One resident said her post was piling up and another complained the balcony door was banging in the wind.

Police were called to the flat in October 2020 amid the growing concerns but the officer did not notice a "smell of death" so he left.

A week later, a second officer came had no reason to force entry so Sheila's body continued to lay undiscovered.

Due to the Covid lockdown, contact between tenants and the trust had broken down, the inquest heard.

Detective Sergeant Scott Fisher told he was one of the first cops on the scene in February when Sheila was finally found.

He said there was no visible signs of trauma and the flat was very tidy with no forced entry.

Ash Fox, deputy chief executive of Peabody said an investigation resulted in 37 recommendations to the way the trust handles its tenants.

This includes staff making contact with any tenants they have not spoken to for a year and looking out for changes in behaviour such as failing to pay rent.

She added: "It is clear from the investigation that processes were followed successfully, but perhaps there was an opportunity where the dots could have been joined up sooner and done more to raise the alarm.

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"Everyone is devastated. We recognise more could have been done."

Dr Julian Morris said Sheila's cause of death would remain open.

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