Householder duct tapes windows to keep out smell of dead neighbour

Householder is forced to put duct tape on his windows to keep out ‘unbearable’ smell of dead neighbour who lay undiscovered for 10 DAYS in Britain’s searing heatwave

  • Genevieve Cheng, 82, was found dead in Laurel Street in Glasgow on June 18
  • Next-door neighbour Archie McDonald says smell is ‘unbearable’ after heatwave
  • Glasgow Housing Assocation cannot clean the home until relatives are found 

A former plumber has been forced to put duct tape on his windows to keep out the ‘unbearable’ smell of his dead neighbour who lay undiscovered for 10 days during Britain’s heatwave. 

Archie McDonald is desperate to keep the ‘unbearable’ smell out of his home after  his next-door neighbour Genevieve Cheng was found dead in her flat in Glasgow.

It is believed the body of the 82-year-old had lain dead for up to ten days in the flat before being discovered on June 18.

Police have since removed the body but Glasgow Housing Association, who own the flat, have said they are unable to clean it until any relatives of the dead pensioner are found.

Police made an appeal for anyone related to Ms Cheng to come forward three days after she was found but no one has been traced as of yet.

Archie McDonald, pictured, has taped up the windows and doors on his neighbour’s flat in Glasgow because the smell has become ‘unbearable’

Genevieve Cheng, 82, died and lay undiscovered for up to 10 days. Glasgow Housing Association have said they cannot clean the flat until relatives are found

Enquiries revealed that she has two children from a previous relationship and used to live on Kelvinhaugh Street.

Mr McDonald, who worked for GHA for 27 years as a plumber, said the smell has become unbearable and has been worsened by the warm weather.

He added that the pensioner, described as a ‘recluse’, begged him to buy her food weeks before her death.


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He said: ‘Jenny was very quiet and was rarely seen coming out of her flat but a few weeks ago she chapped on my door and said she was starving.

‘She posted a grocery list through my letterbox with a load of non-perishable food on it – which struck me as strange.

‘A few weeks past and there hadn’t been any movement from her flat so I mentioned it to the concierge and we eventually had a look through the letterbox. The smell was like nothing you would be believe.


Mr McDonald said the pensioner, who he described as a ‘recluse’, begged him to buy her food weeks before her death. Her body was discovered after he noticed there had been no movement in the flat for a few weeks

‘The police came and opened the door and were gagging from the smell.’

He added: ‘I’ve complained to the GHA but they are refusing to do anything about until her family come forward.

‘The longer they leave it, the worse the smell is getting. It’s appalling. I’ve had to duct tape every part of the door that the smell would possibly be coming out of but it’s still lingering.

‘How long will it be before anyone comes forward?’

Police Scotland handed over the keys to the property to Glasgow Housing Association on Tuesday temporarily for some personal effects to be removed.

A GHA spokesperson said: ‘This matter is being dealt with by the police.

‘We were allowed access by the police this week to clear some items. We instructed a specialist contractor and this was done within 24 hours.’ 

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