Rotten body of man missing for decades found tucked up in bed after rat outbreak

A man who had been dead for 20 years was discovered under a duvet on a bed in his home after a neighbour reported a vermin infestation.

The plan was for Cork council employees to change the lock on the house in Mallow, Ireland to allow Rentokil to go in, but after struggling with the lock they booted the door down and found the man's remains after a "quick sweep".

Paul O’Donoghue of Cork County Council was one of the workers at the scene. He described a considerable amount of post and leaflets inside the door of the property before the body was found, the Irish Mirror reported.

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He explained at an inquest: “I could see a bed in the middle of the floor. I then saw a shape of legs under the duvet, and a coat laid on top. I realised it was a human body.

"I went out to my colleagues on the street and I said, 'I’m not 100% sure but I think I saw a body on the bed.’ They followed me in. We then observed with a lamp that it was a body.

"Mick Carroll (his colleague) then contacted the gardai (Irish police). I did not know who lived in this house. I never observed anyone entering or leaving his house.”

The family of the man, later identified as Tim O' Sullivan from the UK, said they are relieved that the question of his whereabouts that "haunted" them has been "resolved."

They released a statement, saying they are "heartbroken and very upset" at the circumstances of his death.

It reads: "We are simultaneously relieved and happy that the ultimate question that has haunted us for many years of his whereabouts/circumstances has been resolved and that we as a family can lay him to rest with his family as is his right."

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They stressed that reports in the media following the discovery of his remains said that Tim struggled with his mental health.

"It was more a case of a man with a broken heart who whished for privacy and time to be alone to come to terms with his separation as was his right," the clarified in their statement.

Timothy O' Sullivan was born in England in 1939, and worked as a compositor in a printing works. His family described him as a "very bright, intelligent and able man."

He came to Kerry often on his holidays with his wife and later purchased a house in Mallow, moving there when his marriage subsequently broke down.

They said Tim had kept in contact initially but after a while, communication ceased.

"His family made every effort to locate him, they visited his house in Mallow several times but had no method of access (without breaking and entering)," the statement added.

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