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Man dead for 4 weeks in Queanbeyan home before police discovered body

Charlotte Harper 24 December 2015

Banksia Street map

Queanbeyan police discovered the body of a man believed to be in his 50s in a Banksia Street home on Sunday afternoon, around four weeks after he died.

Neighbours had contacted police because they were concerned for the welfare of a 50-year-old man who lived in the house but had not been seen in the street for approximately four weeks.

Officers attending noticed a strong smell upon their arrival at the scene at around 3.30pm on Sunday and found the body in the loungeroom.

Because of the advanced state of his decomposition the body could not be identified, but its general description matched that of the occupant, whose car was on site.

Detective sergeant Mick Handley said police had spoken to the resident’s next of kin, who live interstate, and were preparing a brief of evidence for the coroner. Crime scene investigators had found nothing to indicate anything untoward had happened.

“Unfortunately there are tragically situations where people who live alone die a lonely death for whatever reason. It’s only because people later become aware that they haven’t seen them around that police become involved,” Detective Sergeant Handley said.

“It is a sign of the times where we are losing that personal touch, and it’s a good thing for people to keep in touch with their relatives and friends, not just by social media, but by actually visiting or seeing them face to face, especially if there are health issues.”

RiotACT is looking into whether there is any official data on how often cases in which an individual’s death remains undiscovered for some time occur. A police spokesperson told us it is more often than the general public realise because not all receive media coverage.

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