How woman's death went unnoticed for so long
FOR the past six weeks, a grim and tragic secret was hiding inside a central Warwick home.
The body of a Warwick woman lay on the floor, only to be discovered after a concerned neighbour made a second call to police on Tuesday.
It is believed the 63-year-old died over a month ago.
Warwick police Sergeant Greg Burton was one of the first officers on the scene.
"We received a call from a neighbour for a welfare check," he said.
"Basically we conducted inquiries at the house and needed to use the services of a locksmith to gain entry.
"When we entered the house, we unfortunately located the body of a deceased female who had been dead for some time."
The concerned neighbour who made the initial and subsequent calls to police did not want to be identified but said she rang police three weeks ago because something seemed very wrong.
"We thought she was away at first, but as time went on and her always immaculately pruned shrubs started to become wild and unruly we began to worry," she said.
"We were collecting her mail and mowing her lawn as we usually did when she was away.
"It wasn't out of character for her to go away and she'd usually tell us but we thought we must have missed it this time."
The neighbour said the woman was very private.
"We would have been neighbours from hell to her," she said.
"Dogs, cats, electric guitars, music.
"She was so private, when we interacted she was chirpy and positive but I've never been in her house, she always came over here."
The neighbour said they had never heard any sound from the house next door.
"No music, or the TV, we never even saw any lights on ever, the place was also shuttered up so tightly.
"We can't even tell if there's a car in the garage, it's sealed so tightly."
The neighbour said when the police came three weeks earlier she had insisted they break in and check the house.
"I told them 'I think you have grounds to enter the house'," she said.
"The policeman told me that the house was all locked up and that she was probably away, and he said 'there's no flies'.
"I said to him, 'are you going to wait until there are flies?'.
"They told me the day crew would contact next of kin in the morning and organise entry."
The neighbour said she and her husband had been at their house for three years.
"We bought our house from her (the deceased woman), so we went through that with her," she said.
"We had a polite, neighbourly relationship.''
The neighbour implored people to look out for the people around them.
"It's a small town and it doesn't take much to check people are okay," she said.
"Make some effort and get to know your neighbours.
"Look after each other."
Warwick police acting officer-in-charge Craig Berry said the scene was under investigation by Warwick police.
"Investigations at this point indicate the deceased passed away quite some time ago, about six weeks, but we're waiting to confirm that exactly," he said.
"Due to the amount of time, personal identification will not be possible.
"We will have to use the resources of a Queensland Police team from Brisbane to assist with dental identification.
"Our investigations have also revealed that the deceased was a recluse.
"This person had very limited interaction with the outside world and no immediate family within the Warwick area."
Senior Sergeant Berry confirmed officers were called to check on the woman three weeks ago.
"Warwick police attended the residence and appropriate inquiries were made at the time, but they were unable to positively establish the location of the occupant of the house," he said. "Officers conducted a door knock and spoke to neighbours at the time but the info they received did not suggest anything other than the occupant had not been seen.
"There were no allegations of health concerns or anything else that warranted us entering the residence at that time.
"At this time police inquires revealed that there was a possibility that the occupant may have also been in Brisbane, visiting a unit which she owned at that location.
"It was only when we received subsequent information recently that we determined entry to the house was required."