Mummified body of British woman discovered under mattress at Costa del Sol home

Mummified body of British woman discovered under mattress at Costa del Sol home

February 10, 2019

The body of a mummified British grandmother has been discovered hidden under a mattress in the Costa del Sol home she shared with her daughter.

Valerie Butroid, 71, was found dead on Friday and daughter Louise Butroid told Spanish police she’d died on March 12 last year – 24 hours after Mother’s Day in the UK.

Civil Guard officers who made the grim discovery are believed to have been responding to a call from the woman’s granddaughter, who also lived in the house.

She had been made to phone police by the woman’s former partner after he found out what was going on.


Forensic investigators have ruled out any foul play and have told officers they believe she died of natural causes but a local judge will now conduct a probe into why the two women failed to report the death.

One line of enquiry is the family failed to tell anyone for financial reasons, either so they could continue to claim the woman’s pension or because they could not afford a proper burial.



The fully-clothed body was discovered late on Friday after investigators attended the property on an estate in the village of Istan, 20 minutes from Marbella.

It was sandwiched between a mattress and cardboard.

Neighbours told police there was a bad smell coming from the house last summer but they thought it was the family’s pets.

One said she had been told the woman had died but insisted she had no idea the body was still in the home.


The Civil Guard could not be reached for comment this morning and it was not clear if any arrests had been made.

Rural Istan has managed to retain its authentic charm despite the waves of tourists who head there every year to visit its church and main square or use it as a base for excursions into the nearby countryside.

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