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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Police miss woman's body in home
Jean O'Sullivan
Jean O'Sullivan's family said they were satisfied with the police search
The body of a woman missing for three weeks has been found in her home, despite the property being searched by two officers when she vanished.

Jean O'Sullivan, 59, was last seen on 22 August and reported missing from her home in Falcon Square, Eastleigh, Hampshire six days later.

Her body was only found when officers returned to her house on Sunday.

Mrs O'Sullivan was described as a "hoarder" and Hampshire police said the body had been "hidden from view".

"The premises were initially searched on 29 August by two officers," a Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said.

"The house contained a very large quantity of items, which were stacked in layers and piles which made searching very difficult and at the conclusion of the search Mrs O'Sullivan was not located in the property."

Jean could be described as a hoarder of items and rooms within the house were full of property
Family statement

He said specialist search teams were sent to carry out further searches of the area around the property on 16 September.

"When the house was searched it took specialist search officers more than half an hour to locate the body which was hidden from view," the spokesman said.

In a statement, Mrs O'Sullivan's family said they were "happy and satisfied" with the way police had handled the search.

They said: "When our sister was reported missing, local police officers conducted an initial search of her property which we understand would have been difficult to perform.

"This is due to the fact that Jean could be described as a hoarder of items and rooms within the house were full of property."

Supt Barry Talbot said standard procedure had been followed during the inquiry, but added: "We are now reviewing procedures."

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

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