Man discovered dead in Amsterdam home after three years
A man lay dead for three years in his home in Amsterdam-Zuidoost before his body was discovered last week, RTL Nieuws reports. The man lived at Nieuwlandhof, where his neighbors report they last saw him several years ago.
Local residents noticed the house looked uninhabited and the bedroom window was never closed, even during rainstorms. But, although they called the police and housing association several times, the house was not investigated until last week.
“Every day I walked past his house,” said Adri Drubbel of the residents' collective Holendrecht to RTL Nieuws. “I sometimes looked inside, but never with the thought that he was lying there dead.”
A bailiff found the lifeless man and an investigation has been launched into how long he lay dead. Police do not believe a crime was committed.
One reason the police saw no reason to enter the home was because the rent was always paid. Additionally, the Netherlands has very few systems which can trigger an alert in such situations, especially if someone pays rent through direct debit, said University of Humanistic Studies Professor Anja Machielse to RTL Nieuws. However, a spokesperson for housing cooperation Stadgenoot told RTL Nieuws that employees had knocked on the door of the house several times last year.
Machielse, who studies social isolation, added: "This is a very tragic story, where people wonder what kind of society you live in if you can lie dead in the house unnoticed for so long…Nobody wants this."
Very few neighbors knew the man personally, since he spoke little Dutch and they found it difficult to communicate, Drubbel told RTL Nieuws.