Pensioner lay dead for weeks before discovery

By John Lewis of the Otago Daily Times

A 75-year-old man may have been lying dead in his house for weeks before his body was discovered yesterday, Dunedin police say.

Acting Senior Sergeant Chris McLellan said police were alerted when a medical practitioner contacted police at 5.30pm and asked them to check on the man, whom he had not heard from recently.

"They were worried he hadn't been in to pick up his prescriptions."

It was difficult to say how long the man had been dead, Mr McLellan said.

Police were looking through mail, past chemist visits and other items in the man's house to determine exactly how long he had been been dead.

"He could have been there for weeks."

Dunedin police were still trying to contact the man's next of kin last night.

The body was taken to the Dunedin mortuary last night and the matter had been referred to the coroner.

The cause of death was not believed to be suspicious.

The man had been living in his own house in Caversham, Mr McLellan said.

"Unfortunately, we have people living alone that don't have family contact or people checking on them.

"It's a reminder that if you've got elderly residents next door and you haven't seen them for a while, it's a good idea to give police a call.

"We're happy to check on their welfare," he said.

- Otago Daily Times

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