top of page



  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram Clean Grey

Woman, 38, found in mummified state as she lay dead in social housing for 4 years

A WOMAN who was found dead after almost four years in a mummified state left a chilling note on her calendar.

Laura Winham, 38, is believed to have died in her council flat in Woking, Surrey, in November 2017.

Laura lived with schizophrenia but wasn't checked on for three years and seven months by her mental health team or social services, MailOnline reports.

Housing benefits paid her rent and a gas safety check continued to be carried out each year.

The troubled woman had fallen out with her family due to her struggles.

Her heartbroken sister Nicky said: "She believed all these voices in her head which were turning her against us, her own

Eventually, police discovered Laura's remains in May 2021 after her mum and brother asked officers to break into her flat in Woking, Surrey.

Inside, they found a calendar where Laura had written "I need help" on her calendar in recent days before her death.

Her devastated family are now trying to pick up the pieces as they try and make sense of Laura's final days.

Laura was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, causing curvature of the spine.

At age 18, she had a major heart operation and was sectioned twice after her teenage years.

She was recommended for mental health treatment in 2014 after staff at her housing association noticed she was "unwell, quite thin, and had said she had no friends and believed people were watching her".

Her sister Nicky said: "We always hoped she would get better with professional help and that one day our contact would resume.

"We never believed, for one second, we would end up finding her dead on her floor having laid there for so long without anyone knowing."

She said contact with her family used to cause her sister "enormous strain" so they had eventually agreed to let professionals handle her care.

The horrified sibling believes Laura fell through a gap in the system and had a difficult time as her mind would play tricks on her.

Laura's Disability Living Allowance was stopped because she hadn't responded to Department of Work and Pensions letters in 2016.

Surrey Police officers reported to social services in October 2017 that Laura had little food and wasn't looking after herself.

But despite social workers being informed her phone was not working continued to contact her by phone.

When they didn't hear back from her, they sent details of local food banks and support teams to her flat in the post.

After two weeks, Laura's case was closed, even though they hadn't heard back from her.

Nicky said: "Laura has been so badly let down. It's just heart-breaking to think of how she lived in her last few years, unable to ask for help, without anyone there for her, it's just tragic.

'Her journey with mental health has been incredibly tough.

"She grew up in a loving, supportive family. She had worked so hard to overcome her deafness and went to mainstream school, she attended college and gained a degree at university.

"But then our very much-loved younger sister completely changed in front of our own eyes. And it's something I would not wish on any family."

Her loved ones are now preparing for an inquest into her death.

Surrey County Council said: "This is a truly tragic case and our sympathies and deepest condolences are with Laura's family and friends.

"It's important that every aspect of this complex case is reviewed and we're committed to participating fully in the inquest process.

"This will include providing any information that is needed to support the Coroner's enquiries."


bottom of page