Police found the corpse after neighbors raised the alarm because of the strong smell coming from a flat in Madrid – one officer is said to have described the scene as his worst experience on the job
Police in Spain came across a grisly scene after entering the apartment of an elderly woman who had not been seen by her neighbors for months.
Last Monday, authorities entered the apartment of Clara Ines Tobon, 79, north of Madrid, following complaints about a strange smell.
They found her dismembered body surrounded by the corpses of five of her cats, local outlet El Mundo reported.
Clara’s upper body had been partially eaten by her pets.
She had seven cats in total – five of whom died of starvation, with two found alive but very malnourished.
Clara, who lived alone, is believed to have died of COVID-19.
Clara had been lying dead for at least three months, authorities estimate.
The cat lover was originally from Colombia but had moved to Spain decades ago.
She had been living in that apartment unit since 1996.
With no kids of her own or a partner, the closest friends she had were her cats.
Police were alerted after a strange smell and multiple flies began emanating from her flat.
A neighbor described the smell to local outlet El Mundo.
“Sometimes it smelled bad from the cats and the boxes of food that came up, but this time there was a very strong plague,” he said.
RELATED VIDEO: Cat Expert Explains Why Some Cats Eat Human Corpses
Police immediately suspected someone was dead upon arrival at the scene.
Clara’s door was locked so a firefighter climbed in through a window.
“A national police officer told us that it was the worst thing he had seen since he worked,” another neighbor told local media.
Authorities carried out an autopsy on one of the cats who was already dead, to confirm it had eaten part of its owner’s corpse.
The two cats that had survived the ordeal were taken to a local animal shelter.
Strangely enough, a spokesperson for the social housing agency where Clara lived said they had not noticed their tenant was dead.
“All payments were sent to her and that there was nothing to suggest that she had died, since everything was normal,” the spokesperson said.