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Lonely 72-year-old hoarder found dead in Whampoa flat

He lived alone and may have had habit of hoarding things; no foul play suspected

Relatives of a man found dead in his flat were at the unit yesterday, clearing various items, including boxes, furniture and plastic bags stuffed with paper.

The body of the 72-year-old man, believed to have been a hoarder, was found by police in his flat at Block 105 Towner Road in Whampoa on Wednesday.

He lived alone, and it is believed he had been dead for a few days.

The police said they were alerted to the case of unnatural death at about 9.45am and found the man motionless in the flat. A paramedic from the Singapore Civil Defence Force pronounced him dead at the scene.

Investigations are ongoing, but the police do not suspect foul play.

When The Straits Times visited the flat yesterday, numerous items were strewn along the corridor and all over the unit, and a foul smell hung in the air.

The relatives declined comment, with one person saying only that they were trying to get in touch with the man's son.

A neighbour, Ms Lena Nguyen, said yesterday: "I never saw any relatives visiting him, but he would go out every day in the morning and come back in the evening."

The 45-year-old housewife, who has been living in the unit opposite the flat for the last two years, would often see the man carrying bags full of items.

"I am so shocked because I just saw him last week, and I found out yesterday he suddenly passed away. He didn't seem sick, he still talked to me like normal. He was often just sitting alone downstairs," she said.

Ms Nalayini, a 69-year-old factory worker who lives in the flat next to the unit, told Chinese-language paper Shin Min Daily News that her housemates noticed a strong odour last weekend.

"When I came back (after my night shift on Wednesday morning), I noticed a strong stench and couldn't stand it. I called the town council and the police came to investigate," she said.

Ms Nguyen said that last month, Housing Board employees helped the man clear items that were blocking his front door.

She said: "He would bring bags of things home and put them in the corridor. I was worried as they were a fire hazard. He said he would clear them, but took only a few items into his home."

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