Officers broke down the door of the house in Station Road
The body of a man found in a bed at his Lancashire home is believed to have lain undiscovered for more than two years, police have said.
Brian Dean, 70, was found at the terraced house in Huncoat, near Accrington, by police officers when they broke the door down.
A pile of unopened post dating back two years was found behind the door.
Tests are being carried out to determine a cause of death and officers are also trying to trace relatives.
Neighbours said Mr Dean was rarely seen and was a private person.
Alarms were not raised with official authorities because bills were still being paid by direct debit from Mr Dean's bank account.
Det Insp Jill Johnston, of Lancashire police, said: "We believe Mr Dean may have been in the house for over two years because mail dated back to June 2006 was stacked up behind his door.
"We know Mr Dean was a very private man and it is very sad that he had not been missed by anybody for such a long time."
Local councillor Paul Gott, of Hyndburn Council, said: "Everybody knew Brian was very reclusive. He would go out late at night and come back in the dark in the morning.
"He had withdrawn from society so it was understandable that he hadn't been seen. As time goes by and life carries on it just got longer and longer."
Mr Gott said Mr Dean's sad death could act as a way of making people pay more attention to their neighbours.
"I think everybody should really look at who is within their community and ask if there's a possibility you haven't seen somebody," he said.
"It may be intrusive to go and knock on the door and say, 'Is everything okay?' but this is a good reminder."