Investigation launched after body found at horror house

A Dunedin property where a body was found, was at the centre of a failed internet romance which led to an armed raid.

Police were investigating the death of a person at a home in Garfield Ave, Roslyn, which a neighbour yesterday described as belonging to a man living a "reclusive lifestyle".

Police said in a statement yesterday the body had possibly been at the property for some time.

The home was the scene of an armed police raid in 2009 when a German woman called for help after spending almost a month with the homeowner, whom she met on MySpace.

Police had hurled stun grenades through the kitchen windows in the rescue mission.

The woman, Maja Gille — the daughter of a respected German artist — said at the time the home was a horror house with roosters, cats and chickens living inside.

Dust and rubbish were strewn about and the house smelt of dead animals and old clothes.

Police outside an overgrown property in Garfield Ave, Roslyn yesterday where a body was located....
Police outside an overgrown property in Garfield Ave, Roslyn yesterday where a body was located. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
The story made international headlines, with more than 100 stories on the case appearing in German news outlets.

A Garfield Ave resident, who declined to be named, said yesterday the house had no power and belonged to a reclusive forager who lived off-grid.

"He had chickens, he had wild cats. It’s a hole of a place — disgusting.

"You would see him going around on his bicycle and foraging for things, but I haven’t seen him for ages."

Police said the investigation into the death was in its infancy and they were working with Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and a scene team to remove the body for forensic pathology examination.

A formal identification was yet to be done.