KARACHI: The skeleton of a woman, who had died around 12 years ago, was found in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on Thursday.

The son and daughter, who also died recently, did not bury their mother and reportedly kept the body in a freezer inside their flat, officials said. They said the siblings were believed to be “emotionally disturbed”.

The police detained an aged brother of the dead woman who had abandoned the skeleton at a garbage dump near NIPA (now NIM) on Wednesday night.

The held man told the police that his nephew and niece did not bury the body “out of love [for] their mother”.

An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that they found the “old body” of the woman adjacent to a NIPA wall near Crescent Apartments in Block-11 of Gulshan-i-Iqbal at around 3.43am.

The corpse was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to fulfil legal formalities.

Police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said there were no injury marks on the body. The doctors have reserved the cause of her death for chemical examiner’s report.

The deceased was identified as Zakia Zaidi and the police detained her brother Mehboob, around 70, who had thrown the skeleton there wrapped in a sheet.

He told the police that his sister died around 12 years ago. He also told the police that both the son and daughter of the woman had also died a few months back.

The police suspected that the children did not bury the corpse of their mother as they were emotionally disturbed.

“They (the siblings) were totally socially cut off from their relatives and neighbours,” said Gulshan SP Shahnawaz Chachar while sharing initial details.

He said the deceased woman was a schoolteacher. Her son was a chartered accountant while the daughter was also educated.

Neighbours told the police that they did not mix with them.

The police would also seek a medical record of both siblings to ascertain how they died and whether they were suffering from depression etc.

The SP said the initial probe revealed that there was no “element of murder” behind the incident. Both siblings also did not have any criminal record.

It appeared that both siblings, suffering from some psychological problems, did not bury their mother’s body and reportedly kept it in a freezer in the flat.

SP Chachar said that Mehboob told the police that he had visited the flat on Wednesday after neighbours complained that foul smell was emanating from it and found the body lying on a bed. However, the officer said Mehboob might have visited the apartment to occupy it.

The police have called a team of forensic experts to examine the crime scene.

DIG East Amir Farooqi said that no FIR had been registered so far.

“We have detained the deceased woman’s brother who had removed the body from the apartment and put it in a garbage dump,” said the DIG.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020