Woman's 'mummified' body found sitting in a chair 2 years after death prompts Italy to reckon with its loneliness crisis

  • The body of a 70-year-old woman was discovered in Italy, two years after her death, per reports.

  • She was found sitting on a chair in her living room in a "mummified" state, The Guardian reports.

  • Her solitude has prompted Italians to reckon with loneliness in the country.

The decomposed body of a 70-year-old woman was discovered at her home in northern Italy, two years after her death, according to reports.

The body of Marinella Beretta was found sitting in a chair in the living room of her house in Prestino, near Lake Como, The Guardian reported. The corpse was described as being in a "mummified' state.

Beretta lived alone and had no surviving relatives. Her neighbors had not seen her since September 2019, Sky News said. Many assumed that she had moved away at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, per the media outlet.

Lake Como in Italy
Beretta was found in her home near Lake Como, Italy.Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

The body was discovered when the local fire brigade stopped by her house after responding to a complaint that a tree had fallen into her garden, Como City Hall press officer Francesca Manfredi told CNN.

She had died at some point towards the end of 2019 "based on the extent of decomposition," Manfredi told the media outlet.

Her cause of death is not currently known but there is no evidence of foul play, according to Agence France-Press.

Beretta's death, and assumed solitude, have prompted Italians to reckon with the country's loneliness crisis.

In traditional Italian culture, families socialize and celebrate often. The reality is that nearly 40 percent of over 75-year-olds in Italy live alone, according to a 2018 report by the national statistics institute (ISTAT), per France 24.

The same number also said they had no living relatives or friends to turn to in times of need, according to the report.

Italian journalist Massimo Gramellini wrote in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that people are dying alone because the "chaotic, branched families of peasant Italy" are a distant memory, according to CBS News.

Como Mayor Mario Landriscina told the Italian newspaper that her death "must be a moment of reflection on an example of loneliness that must really lead us to improve and change certain dynamics."

And Italian families minister Elena Bonetti said on Facebook that what happened to Beretta "hurts our consciences."

"We have a duty, as a community that wants to remain united, to remember her life," she continued. "Taking care of each other is the experience of families, institutions, of our being citizens. No one should be alone."

The council will pay for her funeral and burial, CBS News reported.

Read the original article on Insider