A woman continued to live with her mother in Petaluma after she died over a year ago and did not tell anyone, according to police.

The Petaluma Police Department said it found the mother’s decomposing body on Tuesday while performing a welfare check. Neighbors were concerned when they had not seen their neighbor for several weeks. There were roughly 20-30 packages stacked on the front porch of the home and no one answered the door when neighbors knocked, according to police.

Neighbors called police to check on the woman. On Tuesday, when officer arrived, no one answered the door. Officers then entered the home and found a woman’s dead body in the living room, according to Lt. Jeremy Walsh.

A second woman, who claimed to be the dead woman’s daughter, was found in a bedroom. She cooperated with police and said her mother died of natural causes in April 2021, police said. The younger woman was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and treatment, according to authorities.

Given the advance stages of decomposition, authorities said it appeared that the older woman had been dead for more than a year. Her body was taken by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office. Investigators classified the case as an unattended death, meaning the body was not found for a period of time after the person died, and searched the home due to the suspicious nature of the death, Walsh said.

The home was deemed uninhabitable and red-tagged by code enforcement officers, but police said there were no other suspects or safety concerns for the neighborhood.

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The names of the two women were not released.

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