No relatives identified after man lay dead in Stockholm apartment for three years

After more than a month of searching, police have been unable to locate any relatives of a man who lay dead in his apartment for three years before neighbours raised the alarm.

No relatives identified after man lay dead in Stockholm apartment for three years
A street in the Skanstull neighbourhood of Stockholm's Södermalm district, where the dead man was found. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

The man was found by police in his apartment in Stockholm in November last year, where he had apparently died around three years earlier.

“Police were called to the apartment because the neighbours hadn't seen the man in a very long time,” Södermalm police officer Viktor Adolphson told The Local at the time. Bills and rent had been paid automatically, so it was only the large amounts of post delivered to his flat, and neighbours' realization that nobody had seen its occupant recently, that prompted them to contact his landlord.

Since the discovery, police have been working to identify relatives of the man, who originally came to Sweden from the former Yugoslavia in 1966, but they have so far been unsuccessful. Part of the reason is the lack of records from his hometown due to the war.

“He said when he came here that he had two sisters, who we have tried to locate with help from the local police. But since he came from a place close to Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was badly affected by the civil war, there are few registers left,” police investigator Mats Kemi told Dagens Nyheter.

The man will be buried at a Stockholm cemetery in mid-January. Meanwhile, police are still awaiting forensic results in order to be able to determine the cause of death.

In cases where police are unable to identify relatives, burials are arranged by the local municipality.

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