Even though his ex-wife reported Vicente Benito missing in 1992, no one thought to search his home until last week, when his nephew broke into the house and discovered his dead body.
The Telegraph reported Vincente Benito had not been seen for two decades. The 520 residents of the Spanish village of Canizal were not concerned, presuming he had either moved to Portugal or gone off to work as a shepherd. There were rumours he may have gone off with a girlfriend, according to the Guardian.
Local Mayor Miguel Angel Herrero said "He had stopped talking to his siblings and went to work as a shepherd. He was always off somewhere, so it didn't occur to people that he might still be in the village," as he explained why neighbors had not questioned Benito's disappearance.
The mayor also suggested that a strange smell emanating from the house may have been concealed by the stench of a nearby pigsty.
Although no one is certain exactly when Benito was last seen or how long his body lay undiscovered in the house, the only money found was in Spanish pesetas which were replaced with the euro in 2002.