The decomposed body of an elderly man went undiscovered for up to a month while children played in the street outside his Bletchley home.
The body of 69-year-old Ronald King was eventually found by police last Wednesday after the smell emanating from his small first floor flat became so intense that neighbours reported it to the council.
Mr King’s body was found on the floor of his home in Diddington Close. It is thought he had been dead for between two to four weeks.
Police had to force their way into the one bedroom property by breaking down the front door before making the gruesome discovery in the hallway.
An inquest into the death was opened on Tuesday and adjourned until December.
Police have said the death is not being treated as suspicious.
An operation to clean and clear the flat is still ongoing this week.
Mr King is thought to have lived in Diddington Close since the flats were built in the early 1990s and neighbours have described him as being a quiet man who kept himself to himself.
One neighbour said: “We hadn’t seen him since early August.
“It’s very sad. You wouldn’t wish this sort of thing on your worst enemy.
“We had an idea of what happened when the smell became so obvious and we could see maggots, so we reported it.”
Age UK Milton Keynes is a charity which provides help and advice to elderly people in the city, and in light of Mr King’s death, chief executive Jane Palmer is encouraging neighbours to keep an eye out for the signs that vulnerable people may be in need of help.
“It used to be that if you saw the milk piling up outside or the newspapers sticking out of the door that people would think something was wrong,” she said.
“Things are a bit different now, but there are still signs to be aware of, like seeing the curtains opening or shutting, or lights going on or off.”
Incidents like Mr King’s death are said to be very rare, but the number of vulnerable elderly people living alone is on the rise, according to Mrs Palmer.
“If we don’t know about people who are isolated then we can’t do anything about it,” she said. “People should get in touch if they’re worried about someone.
“No one should die in these circumstances.”