Police have discovered the decomposing body of a woman said to have been partially eaten by her pet cats.
Five of the seven animals were also found dead when officers entered the property in the northern Madrid neighbourhood of Fuencarral.
The dead woman has been named as Clara Ines Tobon.
Neighbours told local press they believe the 79-year-old Colombian may have died from Covid.
One reportedly raised the alarm because of the strong smell coming from her flat and the number of flies.
Police got firefighters to force entry to the apartment on Monday through one of the windows and found Clara dead in one of the rooms during a subsequent search.
The upper part of her body is said to have been partially eaten by the animals.
The two surviving cats have been taken to an animal rescue centre.
One unnamed neighbour told Spanish daily El Mundo: “A police officer said it was the worst thing he had ever seen since in his job.”
Clara’s body is believed to have laid undiscovered for around three months, although the results of a post-mortem have not yet been released.
She had been living alone in the flat where she was found dead since 1996. All her family are said to live in Colombia.
In September 2019 it emerged a dog survived the death of his cancer-stricken owner by eating part of his body as he lay undiscovered in his Madrid flat for around a month.
The dead man reportedly had no flesh left on his legs where the animal devoured his lower limbs to stay alive.
A neighbour raised the alarm after returning from holiday to discover a rancid smell she mistook at first for a dead rat.
The dog was sedated before being taken to an animal rescue centre after police got firefighters to force their way into the ground-floor flat in the Madrid neighbourhood of Ciudad Lineal and made the gruesome discovery.
Doctors were said at the time to have estimated the dead man, a 56-year-old prison chef known only as Matias, had died around a month earlier after succumbing to lymphatic cancer.
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