MADRID, Spain - A man making his first visit to a home he bought in a foreclosure auction found the former owner's mummified body sitting on the living room couch, police said yesterday.

Coroners estimate the woman's remains had been there since 2001, when she stopped making payments on the residence in the coastal town of Roses in Spain's northeast Catalonia region.

The body mummified instead of rotting partly because of the salty seaside air in Roses, a Catalan regional police official said.

The woman, in her mid-50s, was estranged from her children in Madrid, and no one had reported her missing.