Mentally unwell woman lives with spouse’s body for days till daughter raises the alarm
A 55-year-old woman lived with her husband’s dead body at their home in a central Delhi neighbourhood for at least 24 hours before the couple’s nine-year-old daughter raised an alarm on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Assistant commissioner of police Amit Kaushik said the 59-year-old man appeared to have died of natural causes and his wife, who has a history of mental illness, was undergoing medical treatment. “Either she didn’t realise that her husband was dead, or she remained in denial about his death,” he said.
Police said that the man was seen lying in his bed since Sunday, although it wasn’t clear if he had died on that day itself or some time later. “What we are certain of is that he was dead for at least 24 hours when the police arrived,” Kaushik said.
Since Sunday, the woman had spent her time in the same room as her husband and slept in the same bed. “Whenever her daughter or domestic help would ask about her husband, the woman would say that he was unwell and was taking rest. No one suspected anything amiss until 1pm Wednesday,” said another investigator.
“The girl saw blood oozing from her father’s mouth. She shook the body, but got no response. She then called her uncle. In the meantime, neighbours also visited the house and realised that there was a foul smell coming from the body. A call to the police was subsequently made,” the officer said.
When the police tried to take the body away, the woman refused to let go. “We had to tell her that we were taking him away for medical treatment, only then did she allow us to take the body,” the officer said.
The police do not suspect any foul play and no post-mortem examination was conducted. The woman has been referred to a psychiatrist and the child is being looked after by relatives, police said.