Man who lived with sister and dogs' corpses for months dies 'mysteriously'

In a shocking end to a grotesque tale, Kolkata police have recovered the charred body of Partha De, the man who lived with the skeletons of his sister and dogs for six months

Partha De
Partha De. Pic/Twitter

In what is a bizarre end to a grotesque tale, the man, whom police have found living with the corpse of his sister and two dead dogs for the six months in Kolkata in June 2015, was found dead under 'mysterious circumstances' in that dreaded and infamous 'House of Horror' on Tuesday.

Partha De, who captured the nation's imagination in June 2015 for a while after it was discovered that he had been living with the skeletons of his elder sister and two pet dogs for six month.

The Hindustan Times reported that the 46-year-old Partha's charred body was recovered from the toilet of the flat in Watgunge area of west Kolkata. He had been living there for the past few months. "A bottle half filled with petrol and some match sticks were found scattered on the floor. Only an autopsy report can reveal how Dey died," the website quoted Sudip Sarkar, deputy commissioner, port, Kolkata Police.

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According to the report, the preliminary probe and circumstantial evidence make the police suspect that Partha, a software engineer, tried to commit suicide but might have died of a heart attack.

None of the neighbours reportedly heard any screams from Partha's flat in the morning.

"On Tuesday morning, after failing to elicit any response from Partha De, the caretaker of the flat entered the 11th floor apartment using a duplicate key. Inside, he found De’s half charred body lying on the toilet floor. He informed the police around noon," a police officer was quoted as saying.

Local police and officials of the detective department’s homicide squad rushed to the spot.

Strangely, Partha’s 77-year old father Arobindo De had also committed suicide in June 10, 2015 by setting himself ablaze in his bathroom in his Robinson Street house.

The police had stumbled on the skeletons while investigating the death of Arabindo. The police had reached the south Kolkata house after getting a call about a fire.

The interrogation of Partha had led to the discovery of the skeletons.

"We recovered Arabindo's charred body from the house and sent it for postmortem. Since it was a case of unnatural death, we posted two constables outside the house. They found Partha behaving suspiciously which raised doubts.

"We later interrogated him during which he told us that the skeleton of his sister Debjani, who died nearly six months earlier, was in the house. He also told us that Debjani was depressed due to the death of their pet dog and shunned eating which eventually led to her death," Deputy Commissioner of Police Murli Dhar had told the media at the time.

"Prima facie, it appears Partha is mentally unstable and refused to cremate his sister or dispose of the dead dog. There are also evidences suggesting he used to feed the skeletons. We are probing all aspects and seeking help of medical experts to ascertain Partha's mental status," the officer had said at that time.

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According to police sources, Partha could not accept the death of his sister because of which he did not cremate her body. He also had repeated altercations with his father Arabinda, leading to his suicide.

Six months before that, his sister Debjani had starved herself to death, apparently after going into depression following the death of their two Labradors in August. Debjani was a spinster.

The skeletons of the dogs were also found in the house. Arobindo’s charred body was recovered from a bathtub in the bathroom. The house came to be known as Kolkata’s House of Horror.

Since then, Partha has spent a few months at Pavlov Mental Hospital, and thereafter, at a home run by the Missionaries of Charity.

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