Relatives of a British woman who died in Cyprus are desperately being hunted by authorities in a bid to stop her being given a pauper’s funeral by the state.
Patricia Lambert’s body has been left unclaimed in a morgue for eight months after she died in January, aged 86.
It has been reported in the Cypriot press that cash withdrawals have been made from her bank account and squatters currently occupy her Kato Pathos apartment, which she owned.
Ken Corlett, a financial investigator working on the case, told Cyprus Mail: “I got involved because I am investigating fraudulent withdrawals from her Isle of Man bank account.
“I have also contacted a company that specialises in tracing relatives of deceased people run by an ex-policeman.
“He identified a Patricia Lambert born in Marylebone, London and another in Croydon, London, with the same date of birth, married in Ealing, London to Terence Lambert (born Stepney in 1938).
“Not having Patricia’s passport has been a hindrance for me,” he added.
The investigator also believes that Patricia may have been married twice and that she has a relative called Rosemary Lambert but has been unable to identify her officially.
Patricia also allegedly worked for Gallaher’s Tobacco in London which was taken over by a company called JTI.
But a search of their employee records found no evidence of Patricia working there.
Her friends in Cyprus say Patricia did have a partner, John, in Paphos but they lived separately before his death.
John died a few months before herm friends have said, which may have been the catalyst in her health deteriorating.
They told Cyprus Mail: “She became much weaker and disturbed after this as he had died in his home and his body wasn’t discovered for a few days, it was very upsetting.”
When a British national dies overseas with no known family, the British High Commission has to apply to the state for a burial.
This process is normally delayed long enough for the estranged family to be traced.
According to Angel Guardians Funeral Home in Paphos, there is not a ‘set time’ that bodies can remain in mortuaries, but it is usually around one year.