A 56-year-old British woman, Janet Veal, was found chewed up and eaten by her cats after apparently dying of natural causes, an inquest in England has revealed.
Veal apparently became a recluse after her husband left sometime last year, but little is known about the woman who did not associate much with her neighbors. According Southampton Coroner Keith Wiseman, “Exactly what happened to render Mrs Veal unable to assist herself or get any kind of help is unclear.”
However, he said that Veal’s medical records showed a history of heart disease, leading pathologists to conclude that her death was “probably” because of congestive heart failure.
But Veal’s death was just the beginning of her grisly story.
When neighbors noticed Veal had not emerged from her house for several months and that her her mail was piling up, they called authorities. Police officers had to use a ladder to gain entrance into Veal’s home, but when they did, what they found was, as the coroner put it in typical British understatement, “distressing.”
In addition to a home so filled with trash that the floor was barely visible to the officers, Veal’s body was barely recognizable. Not only had decomposition taken its toll, but her menagerie of cats, going for weeks without food, had dined on their owner’s body. Investigators found that Veal’s corpse was missing several bodily organs and chunks of flesh, which were devoured by the cats.
Investigators believe that Veal may have been dead for three months before being found.
“This was sadly a natural death that led to really very untoward consequences because of the inability of Ms. Veal to get any assistance for herself and to be confined in the way that she was in this property with a number of animals that had not been fed for quite a long period of time," Wiseman said.
SOURCES: The Independent, Alaska Dispatch, International Business Times