Hoarder daughter kept mother’s dead body at home for three years

A daughter lived with her dead mother for up to three years after "embalming" her body with road gritting salt, an inquest has heard.

Reclusive Gaynor Jones was discovered covered in the grit a week after police forced their way into her cluttered home to find daughter Valerie, 57, collapsed.

An inquest heard widow Gaynor, 83, hadn't been seen alive for three years.

Daughter Valerie failed to raise the alarm over her mother's death – but had bought four bags of salted road grit around Christmas 2015.

The coroner believed the salted grit had been used to "embalm or cover up her mother's body" by Valerie in the house.

The hearing was told the mother and daughter were obsessive hoarders and the house in a rural road in Aberaeron, West Wales, was full of clutter.


Single Valerie was found collapsed after police went to carry out a "welfare check" at the cottage and she was suffering with dehydration inside the property.

But the hearing was told there was so much rubbish in the house and garden it took police a week to find the remains of her mother.

Gaynor moved into the country cottage with her daughter in 2012 after the death of her husband – but it was described as "uninhabitable" because it had no running water or electricity.

Gaynor had not been seen alive since July 2015 when she went to a doctor's appointment.

The hearing at Aberystwyth Justice Centre was told Valerie had purchased four bags of rock salt in December 2015 and January 2016.

Valerie has told neighbours her mum was staying with relatives or in a care home and wouldn't let anyone inside the property.

The daughter was found suffering severe dehydration at the home in Aberaeron, Ceredigion, mid Wales, and rushed to hospital.

But it wasn't until seven days later that police found human bones buried under a mountain of rubbish – with the remains having been there "for some time."

Detective constable Carys Sisto said that when Valerie woke up in hospital she said she could not remember her mother's death – and gave the impression to visitors she was still alive.

In police interviews Valerie suggested she understood one of the salt's uses was preservation.

Dc Sisto said: "The mother's body was found under a layer of rubbish and tarpaulins.

"She was covered with grit and another tarpaulin, surrounded by bags of rubbish which contained human excrement and urine.”

After Gaynor's body had been found, Valerie suggested to a family member her mother would be able to fix an item of clothing – and had to be reminded again that she had died.

She later said her mother had died when a bookcase fell on her – but no bookcase could be found in the 19th century home.


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