Neighbour tried to get wife to give up body

  • 04/09/2015
Investigators are still trying to figure out what exactly happened (3 News)
Investigators are still trying to figure out what exactly happened (3 News)

By 3 News online staff

A neighbour of a woman who kept her dead husband's body inside her Titahi Bay home, possibly for weeks, has told of how she tried to get her to give it up.

The man's body was discovered by police in the Porirua suburb on Sunday after being called to the state house because of the smell emanating from it.

Neighbour Rebecca said she'd last seen Debiprasad Majumdar in late July and knew him as Debi, Fairfax Media reports.

Police are still working to formally identify the man using DNA, fingerprints and dental records because the decomposition was so bad.

She said she went to the house on August 6 to ask Mr Majumdar to feed her cat while she was away, but through a crack in the window his wife said her husband was unavailable but she'd feed the cat.

At the time Rebecca said she'd smelled something unpleasant, but her "stomach turned" when she returned on August 21.

The woman claimed the smell was rubbish and she had spread Dettol around the property to try and get rid of it.

Rebecca recalled hearing Mr Majumdar's wife turning away Housing NZ inspectors on August 26, saying they couldn't come inside.

"I offered to help her. I said... 'this is my friend, is the smell coming from him? From his body? 'Her eyes started to well up. I said, 'He's my friend and I want to talk to him.'"

Police were called to check on complaints about the smell, but did not go inside the property.

Things came to a head during a second visit when a police officer demanded to see the woman's husband but she refused, trying to block the doorway with her arms.

The man's body was covered with a sheet.

Police are still investigating the "bizarre" case, including whether there was some kind of ritual aspect.

The couple, believed to be in their 50s, were from Kolkata. The woman is currently in community care and not under arrest.

3 News