National News

'Gun testing' in Sydney mummification case

A gun and an old Nokia mobile phone may unravel the mystery of how a petty criminal, whose mummified body sat in a Sydney hoarder's home for more than a decade, met his grisly end.

The body, which is believed to have been rotting inside the ramshackle Greenwich property for more than 10 years, was on Tuesday named as Shane John Snellman.

Mr Snellman, aged in his 30s, was known to police for a number of crimes, which AAP understands were low-level, and no missing persons report was lodged with authorities, NSW Police said on Tuesday.

Mr Snellman was reportedly estranged from his family for years and, at some point, wound up dead in the run down home of Greendale Street's reclusive hoarder Bruce Roberts.

A postmortem examination showed he had suffered a number of injuries and his death is being treated as suspicious, investigators said last week.

A gun was recovered from the property during the search and is being tested by forensic experts, AAP understands.

A mobile phone, believed to be an older model Nokia, will also be examined for clues to Mr Snellman's fate.

Mr Roberts died of natural causes in the home in July 2017 and his body was discovered shortly after local shop attendants realised he had stopped going on grocery runs.

The piles of rubbish and junk which fill the home apparently meant Mr Roberts' body was removed without anyone noticing Mr Snellman's corpse in the living room.

The executor of Mr Robert's estate sent cleaners to the run-down home last Tuesday where they discovered the partly-skeletal remains under a pile of debris.

Mr Roberts was reportedly a familiar sight pacing about the leafy suburb.

While he would quietly exchange pleasantries with neighbours and passers-by, he has been described as a "loner" and "child-like" while police confirmed he had mental health issues.

It now seems investigators are being forced to consider whether Mr Roberts was living for years alongside Mr Snellman's body.

© AAP 2018