Reader: The Smell of a Dead Body Is Hard to Ignore

A reader with experience says it's hard not to notice the smell of a corpse.
Reader Chris Estey responds to YWCA Woman Dead Two Months Before Anyone Notices.

"At a certain beloved low income building I worked at, we kept checklists of people through the week at the front desk to mark off whether we'd seen tenants or not. It was 24 hour security. In most cases, if someone hadn't been marked off for 3 - 5 days, it usually meant they had left the building for an extended period and didn't tell counselors (which was rare) or they were deathly ill, or dead. It was amazing how well this worked -- and five empty boxes would gave me chills every time I saw it.

Usually, by the 5 day mark, the smell was already noticeable. People would complain either living next door or passing by in the hall, or even walking by outside. But sometimes, in cold weather, the dead are preserved longer."

"I can't see any reason a woman could be dead for several weeks in her apartment and this not be noted by staff; and this hasn't been a really cold, preserving weather either. Again, a full week can't go by usually without a decomposing body giving off that horrible. sweet smell -- unless of course the apartment and/or building already smell of rotten food, etc., and disguised it. And maybe she hoarded and wasn't very visible in the room -- but at the YWCA? Can you hoard there?"

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