PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) — Police officers in the San Francisco Bay Area discovered the body of a woman in the living room of a home she shared with her daughter, who told police her mother died of natural causes more than a year ago, authorities said.
Neighbors of the women called police after seeing between 20 and 30 packages stacked on the home's porch and getting no response when no one responded to knock on the door, the Petaluma Police Department said in a statement.
Officers doing a welfare check request Tuesday found the body, which appeared to be in advanced stages of decomposition, the department said.
They also found the dead woman's daughter in a bedroom who told them the body belonged to her mother who died of natural causes in April 2021, police said.
“Based on her condition, the adult female who had been contacted inside the residence, was transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation and treatment,” the department said.
Police said there are no outstanding suspects or safety concerns in the neighborhood.
The Sonoma County Coroner’s Office took custody of the woman's body and will determine a cause of death.
Officials said the home was uninhabitable and a Petaluma Code Enforcement officer red-tagged it.
The neighborhood, a quiet suburban area with trimmed hedges and people walking their dogs, is split up into quadrants of houses facing each other sharing a driveway, the Press Democrat reported.
Three neighbors in the quadrant of the deceased woman declined to talk to a Press Democrat reporter. One woman, who did not want to share her name, said she had been too busy taking care of her ailing husband to notice anything unusual next door.
Jeff Maddux, 62, who lives one quadrant down, said he didn’t know or see who lived at the house, but he noticed the drapes were always drawn.
“It’s shocking,” Maddux said, “It’s a reminder to make sure you know what’s going on around you.”