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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A Virginia man found dead in his home following a welfare check had been dead for years before his body was found, police officials said.
Officers found the unidentified Newport News man’s body on Saturday after a neighbor checking on the man noticed a foul odor coming from inside the home, WTKR in Norfolk reported. The neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news station that the man’s family called him Thursday from California asking him to check on him.
“The nephew called me,” the man told WTKR. “I told him I couldn’t go on Friday because I was going out of town, but I can do it on Saturday.”
After smelling the odor and getting no answer to repeated knocks on the door, the neighbor called police.
Investigators believe that the homeowner, who was in his late 60s, had been dead for multiple years. The neighbor told the news station he last saw the man about two years ago.
“He was very secluded. He didn’t want to be bothered with a bunch of people,” the neighbor said.
Other neighbors told WTVR in Richmond that, when they had not seen the man in several years, they assumed he had gone into a retirement home or moved in with family.
No foul play was suspected in the man’s death.