An Italian woman, 70, found dead at home 2 years later

Marinella Beretta, 70, was found dead at least two years after she passed away alone in her house. She has no known living relatives.

Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy | © Quentin Le Gohic

An 70-year-old Italian woman, Marinella Beretta, was found dead on February 4 in her small villa in the suburb of Como, in Lombardy.

She was badly decomposed when fire services found her sitting on a chair in the kitchen.

A doctor who examined her said on Monday she probably passed away at the end of 2019, more than two years ago.

The Covid-19 pandemic hadn’t forced Italy to be locked down and further isolate seniors who live alone, yet.

Marinella Beretta died alone and living relatives are yet to be found. She most probably died from natural causes.

There was no sign of intrusion, doors were locked from the inside.

Her neighbors hadn’t seen her since at least September 2019 and thought she had moved away with the pandemic as mail accumulated outside.

The mayor of Como, Mario Landriscina, said he would attend the funerals. “We are her family”, he said according to Il Corriere della Sera.

If there is no family, the city would need to take care of fees for the ceremony, which is still to be decided as her faith or last wishes are not known, yet.

Nearly 40% of over-75-year-olds in Italy live alone, according to a 2018 report by Istat, the Italian national statistics institute.

What happened to Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences”, the Italian family minister, Elena Bonetti, said on February 7 on Facebook.

Marinella Beretta had sold her house located via Privata Comun Oppidum in Prestino near Como, to a Swiss. But she kept the usufruct of the property until her death.

The owner was alerted by neighbors that trees risked falling with high wind. As he couldn’t reach out to her, he decided to call the Police.

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