EAST HAVEN, Conn. — Connecticut police are investigating after they discovered the body of a man who died more than a year ago in an East Haven home.
Police said the death of the man, William Auger, 92, was not reported to authorities until this week, the Connecticut Post reported. Augur reportedly died in April 2021, the newspaper reported.
“It’s unclear exactly why it took so long to report this death,” East Haven Police Capt. Joseph Murgo told WTIC-TV.
On Tuesday, East Haven authorities were contacted by the East Haven Memorial Funeral Home, which stated they had received an unusual telephone call from a person asking about burials and cremations, the New Haven Register reported.
“When the funeral home attempted to gather further information about the deceased, it was learned that the caller was inquiring about someone who died in April of 2021,” Murgo said in a news release. “The phone call quickly ended when the funeral home advised the caller that the police should be contacted.”
Augur was found in “advanced stages of decomposition” in an upstairs bedroom, the Register reported.
East Haven police had conducted a welfare check at the home on Nov. 24, 2021, at the request of family members, Murgo told the Post. The man who answered at the home, whom police said was Augur’s son, told officers his father had died.
Since Augur was in his 90s, “hearing that he had died did not raise (officers’) suspicion,” Murgo told the newspaper.
Murgo said Auger’s son told officers that he was estranged from his family and requested police to notify them about his father’s death, the Post reported.
“It is quite common for families who are estranged from each other to learn of the passing of a family member through a third party, who are often times the police after conducting welfare checks,” Murgo told the newspaper.
Neighbors were surprised at the news.
“I haven’t seen them in in the past few months, so I was kind of wondering what was going on and then all of a sudden this came along,” Aldo Lucatino, who owns a home across the street from Augur’s home, told WTIC.
“I never thought that somebody could be up there dead, oh my God,” another neighbor, Gayle Alessandroni, told WTNH-TV. “I never expected that, never.”
“We know exactly what goes around here. That caught us by surprise because I never would think that would really happen,” Carmen Dimicco told the television station. “I could not believe it. How could a person live there with somebody that is deceased?”
Police said Augur’s son has cooperated and admitted he lived with his father’s body in the home, the Post reported.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an autopsy revealed circumstances pending further investigation, according to WTIC.
A state law requires the body of a person who dies to be “buried, removed or cremated within a reasonable time after death,” and a death certificate is required to be filed before the “final disposition of the body,” the Post reported. Failure to comply is a Class D felony.
Police do not believe foul play was involved, but Murgo said charges could be filed for the tardiness in reporting Augur’s death, according to the newspaper.
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