updated 10/4/2006 1:41:42 PM ET 2006-10-04T17:41:42

Austrian authorities have discovered the body of a man who apparently died at home in bed five years ago, a Vienna newspaper reported on Wednesday.

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The corpse of Franz Riedl, thought to have been in his late 80s when he died, went undetected for so long because his rent had been paid by automatic order from the bank account into which he received his pension, the daily Kurier said.

Neighbors said there was no strange smell coming from Riedl’s apartment and authorities who found the body after a court order was given to enter said his body appeared to have ”mummified” and was well preserved.

“He had been frail and a woman had helped him,” the husband of the apartment block’s caretaker told Kurier, adding that mail had always piled up outside the pensioner’s flat. “We thought he had moved in with her or gone to an old people’s home.”

Police said they were not certain as to exactly when the man had died, but that they had found only schilling notes in the apartment — the currency used by Austria before the introduction of the euro on January 1, 2002.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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