The body of a 70-year-old woman has been found in her house in northern Italy, two years after her death.
Marinella Beretta lived alone near Lake Como in Lombardy. Her decomposed body was discovered on Friday by the Como fire brigade following complaints that a tree had fallen in her garden as a result of overgrown vegetation, Como City Hall press officer Francesca Manfredi confirmed to CNN on Wednesday.
Beretta’s body was found sitting in a chair in the living room, CNN affiliate SkyTg24 reported on Monday.
Manfredi told CNN that the cause of Beretta’s death is unknown, and the examiner has established that she died sometime toward the end of 2019, based on the extent of decomposition.
No relatives have yet come forward, Manfredi said, adding that police are investigating whether she had any surviving family.
Beretta’s body remains at the morgue, and a funeral date has not yet been set, Manfredi added.
Como Mayor Mario Landriscina has invited the town’s residents to attend Beretta’s funeral. He told Italian press on Tuesday that the local government would take care of the funeral arrangements.
“I will try to be there and I invite the city to be present,” Landriscina said, adding: “This is the moment to be together, and even if this woman had no relatives, we could become her relatives.”
He said Beretta was not on the list for assistance from local social services.
On Facebook, Elena Bonetti, Italy’s minister for family and equal opportunities, mourned Beretta’s solitary death.
“What happened to Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences,” she said. “Remembering her life is the duty of a community that wants to remain united.”
Bonetti added: “Taking care of each other is the experience of families, institutions, of our being citizens. No one should be alone.”