The body of an obsessive hoarder has been found under a mountain of clutter at her cottage – where it had been for up to four years.
Gaynor Jones, 87, died up to four years ago but her body has only just been discovered among her possessions at her home in a 19th century stone cottage in Aberaeron in Wales.
Her daughter, Valerie Jones, 56, was found collapsed under the debris and is said to be lucky to be alive.
Police worked their way through huge piles of clutter and hoarded possessions in their home after the alarm was raised by neighbours.
Valerie was discovered collapsed under mounds of papers and was taken to hospital.
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But it took police another four days to find the remains of her widowed mother in another part of the cottage.
Neighbours believe her daughter had been sharing the house with her dead mother for “many months or even years.”
One woman said: “I think the mother was born there herself, so the cottages have been in her family’s hands for about a century.
“They were well known, not for being seen about, but as the old Welsh family who kept themselves to themselves. They were very reclusive.
“You certainly wouldn’t pop over for a cup of tea. I guess you could describe them as odd.”
Neighbours said the mother and daughter were mainly Welsh speakers and rarely mixed with others in the town.
One neighbour said he’d not seen the women for four years.
Local county councillor Elizabeth Evans said she had known Mrs Jones and her daughter all her life.
“The most important thing at the moment is that Valerie is safe and in hospital,” she said.
Their home is the first of three stone buildings known as the Dolheulog Cottages believed to have been built in the late 19th century.
A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report concerning the welfare of two women from the Aberaeron area.
“On police attendance at the property one female was taken to hospital.
“Following a search of the property the remains of a body have been found. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”
An inquest into Mrs Jones’s death is due to be opened.