Undiscovered pensioner's secret fortune goes to cousin


By Christine Lavelle

THE cousin of an Edinburgh pensioner who lay dead in her flat for five years before being discovered by police has inherited her £110,000 fortune.

Isabella Purves’ decomposed body was found at her Canonmills home in July last year, after a neighbour noticed water dripping from the flat.

The former nurse’s cousin Eleanor Dick, from Clydebank, has now received £108,392 – £90,000 from the sale of her home and £18,000 from bank accounts.

A family friend said Ms Dick was horrified when she heard about the grim discovery and that the whole family has been “deeply upset”.

The friend said: “None of them were close to her, so you can imagine the surprise when Eleanor found out she had inherited all of Isabella’s estate.

“Her family had no contact with her for years so it was a terrible shock when they heard about her death.”

Ms Purves – who would have turned 90 this year – was last seen in 2004, and police had to break down the door to the flat and push through years of unopened mail to gain access.

The tragic woman’s pension went straight into her bank account and all of her bills were paid by direct debit, so she was not missed.

Ms Purves’ family are set to have blasted probate genealogy firms last year, after they were contacted with offers to help them make claims for a share of the proceeds.