Mysterious deaths tied to isolation

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The deaths of a 68-year-old woman and her two daughters, age 35 and 28, have set off sorrow and soul-searching in the large Oslo apartment complex where they lived. They hadn’t been seen, or missed, since last summer but police claim all three “chose to isolate themselves.”

Their bodies were found late last week in the apartment they shared, many weeks after they’re believed to have died. The cause of death has not been determined pending autopsy results, but police suspect poisoning, starvation or illness. A spokesman for the local coroner’s office said it may be difficult to determine cause of death, or whether the women died at the same time, because of their bodies’ advanced state of decay. Police found no signs of criminal activity in their home, which they described as “peaceful.”

As mystery continued to swirl around their deaths, with their bodies found in a tidy apartment that showed no signs of violence, more details have emerged about how they shunned contact with neighbours and family. Website Nettavisen reported that the two daughters each had a different father, one of whom lives in Oslo and the other abroad.

“I don’t want to say very much about what (the father living in Norway) told us,” Kjetil Moen of the Oslo Police Distrit told news bureau NTB on Thursday. “He had attempted to retain contact with the family, but said he’d also been turned away.”

Neither the mother nor either daughter had a job, not were they students. They lived in an apartment subsidized by Oslo’s public housing program. It’s unclear whether they received any other forms of public assistance because of confidentiality rules. All three were Norwegian citizens while the mother was said to have come from “a country in Africa,” reported NTB.

“This is a deeply tragic case,” Øystein Eriksen Søreide, the city’s director of the Grorud district where they lived at Romsås. “We understand that it has made a deep impression on people all over the city and especially in their neighbourhood. We have set up a crisis team that will be available for neighbours and others who have reacted strongly to what’s happened.”

newsinenglish.no staff