Body of man may have been lying in flat for months
A man whose body was found in a flat may have been lying dead there since early in the new year.
Gardai have ruled out foul play in the death of the middle-aged man whose badly decomposed body was discovered in his town-centre flat.
The remains of 52-year-old man were discovered at Bridge Street, in Mallow, Co Cork last Thursday.
Gardai sealed-off the scene pending a technical analysis of the house by forensic experts.
The body was later removed to Cork University Hospital. A post mortem examination was conducted yesterday by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.
Detectives are now hoping that blood and toxicology tests may reveal the precise cause of the man's death.
But the Irish Independent understands that gardai are satisfied that foul play was not a factor. There was no sign of a break-in to the house and no sign of any disturbance.
Tests are being done to determine when the man died but it is likely to have been between two and four months ago.
He was reported missing on March 22. Gardai believe the man was last seen in the north Cork town in late January or early February.
Locals were deeply shocked by the grim news and the length of time the man's remains lay undiscovered in the flat.
"Everyone here is very shocked -- it is a terrible thing to happen," one Fair Street resident said.
"There are a lot of flats and apartments around the place. Sometimes people just don't know their neighbours or whether a flat has been left unoccupied for days or weeks. But it is still an awful thing to happen."
Gardai have refused to release the name of deceased until all his relatives are traced and contacted.
Meanwhile, preliminary tests yesterday determined that human remains discovered in a lorry load of sand in County Donegal on Wednesday could be at least 1,500 years old.
Gardai confirmed yesterday that tests on some bone samples sent to the State Pathologist's office confirmed that the remains dated back to the early Christian or even Bronze Age.
A lorry driver, who was delivering sand to GAA grounds near Ballintra, spotted a skull.
The skull with teeth intact and several other bones were discovered in follow up searches at the football grounds and at a quarry in Carrick, Gweedore, where the sand originated.