Loner who built network of tunnels out of rubbish in his home dies 'after getting lost in labyrinth'
An eccentric loner is believed to have died of thirst after becoming trapped in a bizarre and intricate network of tunnels built from rubbish in his home.
Investigators believe the labyrinth was so complicated that Gordon Stewart, 74, may have become lost inside it. It is thought he may have died as a result of dehydration, after becoming unable to find his way out of the stinking mass.
Neighbours had become concerned that they had not seen him for several days and raised the alarm.
Gordon Stewart is believed to have died of dehydration after becoming trapped in tunnels built from rubbish in his Buckinghamshire home
According to witnesses, the officers were faced with mounds of foul-smelling garbage which he had used to construct tunnels around his home.
Police called in a specialist diving team last Friday afternoon because the smell from the house in Broughton, Buckinghamshire, was so overpowering.
They discovered a confusing system of tunnels networking around the interior of the building, with Mr Stewart lying dead inside.
Locals say Mr Stewart, who wore a ponytail, was often spotted riding his bike around the streets. Officers discovered him entombed in his own creation, built from discarded carrier bags, boxes, old furniture and other assorted junk.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: 'He was slightly eccentric, but very clever. He was just a collector. He came home with a load of cardboard boxes and lived in his own world.'
A second described his death as a 'tragedy'.
Neighbours said Mr Stewart's home had been accumulating rubbish for at least 10 years. This week, plastic bags were clearly seen piled across his front window, while outside further bags, broken furniture, computer parts and even an old TV set spilled over his front lawn.
A car dating back to the 1950s stands in the garage believed to have been left untouched for years as garbage built up around it.
A spokesman from Thames Valley Police, said: 'Police were called on Friday at 12.26pm by a member of public who was concerned for welfare of a resident on Narbeth Drive.
'Police forced entry where they found a man's body. There are no suspicious circumstances.'
It is believed Mr Stewart lived alone and has no next of kin. A post mortem examination is due to be carried out at a later date.
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