Family in Estepona alerted by a smell and flies to the death of their British neighbour

Outside the apartment building where the deceased was found.
Outside the apartment building where the deceased was found. / C. M.
  • The man in his 50s had not brought his washing in off the line and did not answer the door when they knocked

Juan Manuel Fuentes and his family arrived on the Costa del Sol from Madrid on 7 August, excited about their summer holidays. When they reached their second home in the Sierra Bermeja development, at the edge of Estepona, they came across a very sad story.

"There was a strong smell and a lot of flies, and when nothing changed after a few days, I started to suspect that it could be a smell from a dead body," explained Juan Manuel.

His thoughts turned to a neighbour who hadn't been seen since they arrived. "There were clothes hanging out that hadn't been brought in," he added. There was no reply after several attempts knocking on the door.

Fearing the worst, Juan Manuel called the Local Police in Estepona and the municipal Health department, "but they didn't pay any attention to me", explained Juan Manuel. He then contacted National Police and the local fire brigade, who did come and break into the building, discovering the dead neighbour.

The man was a Briton, around 50 years old and who had been living in the rented property for some 20 years, sources said.

"He didn't speak Spanish and he only said 'hola' and 'adios' when our paths crossed in the passageway or entrance," explained Juan Manuel.

Juan Manuel's family were also concerned that the man may have died of Covid-19. "We don't know how long he had been there for and if there are remains in the property that could be contagious," he said.

The local council later confirmed that the death was due to natural causes and not coronavirus.