Man dead for years found in apartment

Published October 5, 2006

VIENNA - A landlord who unlocked an apartment after his letters announcing a rent increase went unanswered found the body of an elderly tenant, and police believe the man may have died three or four years ago, a newspaper reported.

The remains of the 93-year-old man, a former professor whose name was not released, were found Tuesday in a bed, the Kurier newspaper reported.

Police found only old Austrian bank notes in the apartment but no euros, the report said. Austria, like many European Union nations, switched to the euro as its currency on Jan. 1, 2002, so investigators believe the man may have died as long as four years ago, police Lt. Col. Georg Rabensteiner told the Kurier.

Rabensteiner said no one noticed earlier that he had died because automatic rent payments had gone out regularly from his bank account, which was replenished with automatic deposits from his pension fund, the report said.

Neighbors described the man as a recluse, the report said, citing police.

Neighbors also apparently did not find it unusual that junk mail was piling up outside his door, it added.