SUN CITY CENTER — The condo smelled awful. Carol Kingsbury and her sister expected that.
Ten months after her sister's friend died and later was cremated, a court gave the women permission to enter his retirement condo and get his final affairs in order.
Allan Dunn, who committed suicide at 86, had told neighbors his wife was in a nursing home.
But when the sisters went into his fetid apartment Tuesday afternoon, Kingsbury made a gruesome discovery: a body in a chest freezer on the porch.
Investigators believe it could be Dunn's wife, Margaret, and that he kept her death secret more than a decade so he could collect her benefits.
"He never gave any indication that something like that was going on," Kingsbury said. "We had no hint or anything that he was capable of doing that."
Hillsborough County investigators theorize the woman died in 2000 of natural causes. The body is that of a 78- to 80-year-old woman, and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet positively identified her.
Margaret Dunn purchased the condo at 201 Kings Blvd., Unit A23, in 1994, property records show. Five years later, Allan Dunn was named guardian of his wife and assumed possession of all her property and income, records show.
Neighbors agree Allan Dunn wasn't a favorite around the complex. He seldom attended condo meetings or social events.
Some say they haven't seen Margaret in a decade.
"She was a lovely lady, very educated," said Marilyn Gordon, who has lived in the complex since 1981.
Gordon said when neighbors stopped seeing Margaret, they were told she was moved to a nursing home up North.
A former condo association president also was concerned for Margaret and looked into Dunn's story, said Jack Goth, the current association president. But he hadn't found an indication of foul play.
Kingsbury said her sister, Ellen Miller, befriended the lonely older man who didn't drive and needed rides to appointments.
"He said he didn't have any family and that he was from Canada," she recalled.
Dunn was obstinate. He didn't believe in taxes. He hated car insurance.
"He was just a very anti-establishment-type person," Kingsbury said. "He just tried to buck the system."
The attitude won him few fans among neighbors. But Kingsbury also knew him as the kindhearted man her sister brought to a family Thanksgiving.
After his death, Ellen Miller went to court and was appointed May 16 as Dunn's personal representative. She was ordered to administer his property and pay his debts, court records show.
There had been no funeral or memorial service. Miller had her friend cremated, Kingsbury said.
In the two years she knew him, Kingsbury, 57, a hospice nurse, never saw any signs of serious depression. She said Dunn shot himself Aug. 4, 2010.
Another act she can't explain.
Tuesday they expected the home to smell because of rotted food and remnants of the suicide left festering inside since the electricity was turned off in November, she said.
"When the electricity is turned off, everyone knows you open the appliances," she explained.
Kingsbury shielded her sister from seeing the remains she discovered.
"You don't know anybody," Kingsbury said. "There was no way of knowing he was going to hurt himself. There was no way of knowing he could do this."
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.