A 70-year-old woman was found in a state of mummification two years after her death at her home in northern Italy, rekindling the debate in the country about the level of care for the elderly.
Marinella Beretta, who had no living relatives, was found at her home in Prestino, near Lake Como in northern Italy. Police were conducting home visits in the area due to bad weather conditions and happened to pass by her house as trees had been uprooted and had fallen in the garden and "stumbled" on the bones of the unfortunate woman. He was sitting at the kitchen table in a state of mummification.
Neighbors had not seen her for at least two and a half years, according to Italian media reports.
"What happened to Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences," said Family Minister Elena Bonetti, noting that the authorities have a duty to remember these people and not to leave them alone.
Nearly 40 percent of people over the age of 75 in Italy live alone, according to a 2018 report by the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT). The same number also said that they had neither relatives nor friends to contact in case of need.
Beretta was "personalized loneliness", wrote the author Massimo Gramellini on the front page of Corriere della Sera, the best-selling newspaper in Italy.
Neighbors, who had not seen Beretta since September 2019, assumed she had moved away at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that struck northern Italy in 2020, according to media reports.
Police found nothing at the scene to indicate criminal activity. The costs of her funeral were borne by the state.