Woman dead for 'several years' in Sydney home

Australian police Wednesday said they had discovered the skeletal remains of a woman in an inner-Sydney house who had been dead for up to eight years.

The grim find, at a Surry Hills home long assumed by neighbours to be deserted, followed a call from a sister-in-law -- her only living family -- from whom she had been estranged since a 2003 feud.

"Upon entering an upstairs bedroom at the residence, police located skeletal remains on the floor," police said.

"The remains have not been formally identified. However, police believe they belong to a woman who would have been 87 next month."

Acting superintendent Zoran Dzevlan said the woman appeared to have died "several years ago without anyone noticing".

"This serves as a reminder for people to keep a neighbourly eye on those who live in their area, especially the elderly," said Dzevlan.

Her electricity had been cut off years earlier and mail failed to stack up on the doorstep because her post was redirected prior to 2003 to another address.

Neighbours said they had last seen her many years ago, but assumed she had moved away.

"We didn't know her and we don't think anyone knew her either," one woman said.

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