A Spaniard returned home after being released from prison and found his wife's mummified body in their home.
Evidently, it had been more than a year since he had heard from her.
The woman, Angeles Fernandez, died in her home in Ciempozuelos, near Madrid, without anyone noticing or missing her, except her jailed husband, who had complained in September 2011 that he had not heard anything from her for a year.
The local government said Tuesday that a judge had refused on several occasions to allow anyone to enter the home.
The judge denied several requests from the town police and the Civil Guard to enter the home after complaints about a foul odor emanating from it and after the husband reported his wife's lack of communication.
The Civil Guard reported that the mummified body was found on the bed and apparently bore no signs of violence, although an autopsy will be performed to definitively determine the cause of death.
Several neighbors in the building where the woman lived had complained about bad smells coming from the apartment, but the town administration said that such complaints had been a normal occurrence since the dead woman had moved in.
"The lack of hygiene ... (of) Angeles Fernandez, on the last occasions that she was seen, were evident and so it was not ruled out that these smells were produced by lack of hygiene inside the home," said the authorities.
With the information provided by neighbors and friends of the woman, a court order to enter the home was requested but the judge denied it.
According to the Ciempozuelas government, the judge argued that the husband - identified as Eduardo R. - had no authorization to enter the home "since he did not have a relationship with his wife," also saying that he wanted to avoid possible problems "due to his situation of serving a sentence."
The husband, who was released from prison on furlough last week, went to the home "knocked the door down and found the body," the municipal administration said.