The body of a dead woman was “eaten by her own cats” as she lay undiscovered in her home for several weeks.
The body of 56-year-old Janet Veal was found “gnawed and eaten” by her pet cats that had been left without food for up to three months.
At an inquest held at the Coroner’s Court, in Southampton, England, police officers explained how they gained access to Ms. Veal’s house after neighbors noted a build-up of mail at the address.
On entry to the premises, police found a number of dead dogs and cats in the ground floor of the building. Ms. Veal’s partially eaten body was discovered in the kitchen. Coroner Keith Wiseman said at the inquest:
“These animals had been, the officer thought, confined in these two rooms downstairs for what may well have been a period of many weeks, stretching quite possibly into several months
“This too was a distressing experience because it was clear that certain parts of Mrs Veal’s body were missing and had, the officer formed the view, effectively been gnawed and eaten away by the animals.
“One can only imagine the difficulty with the scene the officer was having to deal with.
“There is no indication otherwise and no suggestion, if I can go to the complete extreme, any suggestion that she had been in any way attacked by the animals while she was alive.
He went on to say: “Given the background history and findings I am prepared to find on the balance of probabilities this was sadly a natural death that led to really very untoward consequences because of the inability of Mrs Veal to get any assistance for herself and to be confined in the way that she was in this property with a number of animals that had not been fed for quite a long period of time.”
Due to decomposition of Ms. Veal’s body, the autopsy was unable to determine cause of death, though her medical records stated a history of chest problems.
Ms. Veal had lived alone since her husband moved out of their family home the previous year. Neighbors described her as “reclusive,” and an animal lover.
Via The Independent