Warning: This story isn’t for those with a weak stomach or desire to grow old in a household of cats.
British authorities discovered the decomposing body of Janet Veal, a reclusive woman who apparently died three months ago. The state of her body was particularly disturbing because investigators believe she was “gnawed and eaten” by her starving pets.
“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,” coroner Keith Wiseman told The Independent.
The scene was made even more unsettling because most of Veal’s pets died of starvation before police made the discovery. The coroner speculated the animals only began feeding on their owner after she died because they had no other source of food. The 56-year-old woman likely died of natural causes related to her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“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.”
Police were alerted that something may be amiss in Veal’s house when neighbors noticed her mail piling up and realized they hadn’t seen her in weeks. Officers gained access to the house through an upstairs window and found Veal’s body in the kitchen.
Neighbors reported Veal had grown even more reclusive after her husband left last year.
“Given the background history and findings I am prepared to find on the balance of probabilities this was sadly a natural death,” Wiseman said. “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.”