Victoria Cherry was kept in an airing cupboard for 15 months by Reade
Neighbours in a quiet cul-de-sac noticed “a dodgy smell” but believed Andrew Reade when he told them Victoria Cherry had left him to stay with her mother.
He even invited some of them round for visits in Bolton as her body rotted in the closet, they claim.
How Victoria died remains a mystery, made harder to solve because her body was so badly decomposed by the time it was found.
Reade, 43, pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court to concealing the corpse of Victoria, 44, for 15 months.
He also admitted intending to pervert the course of justice.
Forensic experts at the property in Bolton
Vicky had so much time for everyone and made you feel better about yourself. It is a tragedy
He was remanded in custody until April and warned that he faces a lengthy jail sentence.
Police found Victoria’s body during a raid last month after her family filed a missing person report.
She had not been seen since October 2015.
The court heard on Thursday that following a post-mortem examination, police were still analysing toxicology results.
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Judge Timothy Stead said: “The length of time for which this body appears to have rested in an airing cupboard will have made the pathological tests more difficult.”
Regular visitor Gary Sleeman and neighbour Glen Kerwin
Neighbours have told of their grief and disbelief that Reade managed to keep Victoria’s body hidden so long.
Regular visitor Gary Sleeman, 37, said: “This has shocked the community. Vicky had so much time for everyone and made you feel better about yourself. It is a tragedy.”
He said he had spent many hours at the house with Reade since Victoria’s disappearance.
He added: “He said she had left him. I’d sleep on their couch – while Vicky was there and after she went. “I’ve slept right near the cupboard where she was. I feel shock.”
Glen Kerwin, 54, who lived next door for three years, said: “Dodgy smells started coming through but Andy explained it away.”