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  • An elderly woman was devoured by her pet cats after dying alone in her Madrid apartment.
  • The 79-year-old's body had been eaten from the waist up, El Mundo reported.
  • A police officer said it was the "worst thing" thing they had ever seen in their career.
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An elderly woman was partially eaten by her pet cats after dying alone in her Madrid apartment, according to The New Zealand Herald.

The body of Clara Inés Tobón, a 79-year-old Colombian national who had lived by herself since 1996, was discovered by Spain's National Police Corps last week, Metro reported.

A police officer visited the apartment after neighbours said they had not seen Tobón for a month and reported a stench coming from her home, the paper said.

Inside the apartment, the police officer found Tobón's decomposing body. It had been eaten from the waist up by her pet cats, according to El Mundo. "It was the worst thing I have ever seen since I began working," the officer told the paper.

It is believed that Tobón had been dead for at least three months, El Mundo reported. Tests are being performed to see whether she died from Covid-19 complications, the paper said.

Five of her cats had died from starvation, El Mundo added. Two were alive but were in very poor condition and were sent to a local animal protection centre to be treated, a municipal spokesperson said.

The apartment was in a state of squalor, filled with animal excrement and garbage, according to El Mundo.

It is possible that the woman was suffering from Diogenes syndrome, the paper said. This is a disorder characterised by self-neglect, domestic squalor, social withdrawal, and the compulsive hoarding of trash or animals, according to the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.

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