Madeleine – body decomposition – Maria Beatriz

Correio da Manhã is running with a very odd news item today, about human body decomposition.

A woman called Maria Beatriz has been found mummified in a flat in Penhora, in Lisbon. This is the apartment block.

The body was found earlier today when one of the block minders let the PSP into Maria’s apartment. Correio da Manhã speculated that Maria Beatriz may have been dead for 10 years or more.

I have no further details, but I am sceptical about what Correio da Manha has reported.

Penhora appears to be well-located within Lisbon, making such apartments desirable. From the photo, the block seems to be in decent condition. Quite why such a flat should be unrented for 10 years baffles me.

The mummification aspect is also puzzling. There is no suggestion that this is anything other than a natural death. Equally there is no suggestion that mummification was anything other than natural.

That is not how I understand body decomposition. I would have thought the corpse went through bacterial attack first, followed by attack by insects. That suggests an awful smell for the neighbours, and worse.

The fragment of the Correio da Manha report does not say what triggered the inspection. It could have been the block caretaker or the PSP.

Thus far, Maria Beatriz’s story has more questions than answers.

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