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In January of 2020, a landlord in Bracknell, England conducted a welfare check on the two residents of a flat she managed.
One of the residents was 60-year-old Stephen Corfield, who was blind his entire life. His roommate was his mother — 84-year-old June Corfield. The two were described as “reclusive” by neighbors, as they were rarely seen leaving or arriving at the flat.
The welfare check was being conducted because workmen complained that they could not access the flat to complete necessary repairs. The landlord, Charlotte Rolfe, hired a locksmith to open the front door after numerous unsuccessful attempts at contacting the residents.
Upon opening the door to the flat, the landlord — accompanied by a police officer — discovered the weeks-old bodies of both residents in the main room, half dressed, sitting down and facing each other on sofas.
Here’s a quote from the officer who discovered the scene: “As you entered the lounge where you had the two sofas, officers found a female sat in one of the chairs, slouched backwards. To her right they saw a male, again slouched back in the chair with his head tilted forward but to his left hand side. Both plainly had been dead for some time.”
Even stranger, the bodies were found surrounded by ten chocolate cakes, ten cartons of milk, and a handwritten note that read ‘Put memo at the top of the stairs do not come in’ as well as the words 'digital radio bush' and 'China dab'. In between the two chairs were two Bush DAB radios, and each person had a water bottle at their feet. June’s was empty; Stephen’s had a bit of clear liquid still inside. Both bottles were tested for any kind of substance, but everything came back negative and it is believed to just be a drink. Stephen had £1,000 in cash inside his pants pocket. June was said to have been found wearing a top and one sock, and Stephen wearing a shirt, shoes, and socks.
The flat itself was extremely sparse, and all electrical items were unplugged (including the fuse box which was turned off). There were no lightbulbs in any of the sockets. The heater inside the flat had never been used. In the trash can was a newspaper dated December 2, 2019, despite the fact Stephen Corfield was blind. There was no bed, and hardly any furniture.
As the only existing documentation which pictured Stephen Corfield was a passport from 1998, police had to locate June's ex-husband and other son, Malcolm Corfield senior and junior, to identify Stephen through DNA. Both men said June had not seen her former husband in around 30 years and had been estranged from her other son for about 15 years.
Dr Robert Chapman, who carried out post mortem examinations, gave the cause of death for Mrs Corfield, who was 5ft tall and weighed just 33 kilograms (five stone) when she died, as pneumonia and coronary heart disease. The pathologist said that while he discovered a small tumour in Stephen Corfield's brain, his cause of death remained unascertained. Another source states June died of hypothermia.
Alan Blake, assistant coroner for Berkshire, said he believed Mrs Corfield had died first but had to record an open verdict on her son. He believes June died first and Stephen died afterwards because he was unable to care for himself, but this theory can’t be proven.
There was no evidence of third-party involvement and very scant evidence which could point to suicide. The rather cryptic note ending in 'do not come in' which was left would not permit such an inference. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether this was an entirely natural death or whether there was an element of the unnatural about this death. Police are adamant that there is no evidence of forced entry, foul play, or suicide.
What happened to June and Stephen Corfield? Why were they estranged from their family? Why were they not fully dressed, and where are the other pieces of clothing? Why the chocolate cakes? I have so many questions. There’s surprisingly little press coverage of this case.
Edit: There’s some confusion on whether the cakes were surrounding the body or simply in the kitchen. There were radios near the body and water bottles by their feet (tested the liquid but found nothing). Either way, the electricity was turned off so there was no way to refrigerate the cakes and milk. Also there’s basically one article of this case rewritten on other websites, and no other info :(