Recently on Blather we’ve been focusing a lot of attention on Death. You know, how people die, what they do with their remains after they die and what others may or may not do with their remains and so on. But most of the stories we’ve been covering in the Waking the Dead series have been about folks who shuffled off the coil quite some time ago. But today, well, today…
Police have discovered the remains of a woman who has been dead for (apparently) over two years. In that time, her body has been propped in front of a TV.
What’s really amazing about this incident is that the body of 61 year old Johannas Pope has been effectively ‘mummified’. This, if you can fathom it, thanks to an air-conditioning unit that kept her preserved for over two years. Although to say that she has been mummified is actually inaccurate – mummification is a specific process invloving the removal of internal organs and dessication of the body in Natron salts. Dessication has occured here, but not ‘mummification’ in any sense like that which would be used in a museum.
Anyhoo, last month the air conditioner broke and neighbours appear to have been alerted by the smell – presumably as the remains began to decay. It’s a little unclear why she was never buried but it seems that she requested that her caregiver leave her body in front of the TV. Perhaps Mrs. Pope had a fear of premature burial and wanted to make sure?
Police went to the house last Wednesday after receiving a call from a relative who hadn’t seen Pope in years. They found a staircase behind a door blocked by a basket and climbed to the second floor, where they found the body.
Authorities did not identify the caregiver, a women in her 40s who apparently lived in the home with Pope, Pope’s daughter and her 3-year-old granddaughter.