Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Don't Let This Happen to You


HAMPTON BAYS, NY, FEB. 18 (UPI) -- Police on the east end of New York's Long Island found the body of a man dead more than a year sitting in front of his television, which was still on.

Vincenzo Riccardi, who was blind from diabetes, had apparently not been seen or heard from since December 2005, Newsday reported. But his neighbors, thinking he had been hospitalized or moved to a nursing home, did not think to check on him.

The body was found Thursday by officers in Southampton who were checking on a report that a pipe had burst.

Jeff Bacchus, an assistant at the Suffolk County morgue, said the body was well preserved because of a lack of humidity.

"You could see his face. He still had hair on his head," Bacchus said. "I've been on the job 35 years, and I've never seen anyone dead that long."

Riccardi had been a widower for several years. A neighbor told Newsday she used to read his mail to him and perform other tasks, but stopped when they had a fight in the summer of 2005, after Riccardi demanded that she stay and help him when she had to go to work.

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